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  • Sheila McGrath

    colored pencil drawings recording Jupiter's cloud patterns through telescope

  • Simon Lorimer

    Jupiter Unplugged. Five hand drawn sketches of Jupiter were used to create this beautifully detailed flat map of the ruling gas giant's turbulent cloud tops. Made with colored pencils at the eyepiece of a 16 inch diameter telescope, the original drawings are about 5 inches (12.5 cm) in diameter. The drawn planisphere map dimensions are 16x8 inches (40x20 cm). Read more at: apod.nasa.gov/... (Mar 2, 2012)

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The New Horizons spacecraft took some stunning images of Jupiter on its way out to Pluto. Famous for its Great Red Spot, Jupiter is also known for its regular, equatorial cloud bands, visible through even modest sized telescopes.

Storms of Jupiter. “I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.” - Roy Batty, in the movie Blade Runner

Io: Moon Over Jupiter Image Credit: Cassini Imaging Team, SSI, JPL, ESA, NASA

Antares, on the left surrounded by the yellow nebula, is a red supergiant and the brightest star in Scorpius.

The Rosette Nebula is not the only cosmic cloud to evoke the imagery of flowers, but it is the most famous. At the edge of a large molecular cloud in Monoceros, the petals of this rose are actually a stellar nursery whose lovely, symmetric shape is sculpted by the winds and radiation from its central cluster of hot young stars. The stars in the energetic cluster are only a few million years old, while the central cavity in the Rosette Nebula, is about 50 light-years in diameter.

The Earth's sister planet is smiling between the low clouds near the bottom of the frame during its January 2nd conjunction with the slender...

Thackary's Globules. Located in rich star fields & hydrogen gas, these opaque clouds of interstellar dust & gas are so large they might be able to form stars. They are located in IC 2944, a bright stellar nursery about 5900 ly away toward the constellation Centaurus. The largest of these dark globules, first spotted by S African astronomer A. D. Thackeray in 1950, is likely two separate but overlapping clouds.

Exaggerated hues in this false-color image tint clouds swirling southeast of Jupiter's Great Red Spot.

Detail in Jupiter’s cloud bands as seen by the Voyager 1 spacecraft.

Jupiter and Io. "The image shows a major eruption in progress on Io's night side, at the northern volcano Tvashtar. Incandescent lava glows red beneath a high volcanic plume, whose uppermost portions are illuminated by sunlight. The plume appears blue due to scattering of light by small particles in the plume."

NGC 7635: The Bubble Nebula --- Image Credit & Copyright: Larry Van Vleet

Glowing gas and obscuring dust clouds in IC 1795, a star forming region in the northern constellation Cassiopeia