Portal:Star/Selected picture

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  1. Add a new selected picture to the next available subpage. [[Portal:Star/Selected picture/#]] - {{/#}} by the format used in other selections.
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  3. Copy this code in the image: {{Portal:Star/Selected picture/template|#}}.


Please see Portal:Star/Nominate/Selected picture for nominations.

Selected pictures list[edit]

Portal:Star/Selected picture/1

Large Magellanic Cloud, a galaxy
Photo credit: ESA/Hubble

The Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) is a nearby irregular galaxy, once thought to be a satellite of our own. At a distance of slightly less than 50 kiloparsecs (≈ 160,000 light-years), the LMC is the third closest galaxy to the Milky Way, with the Sagittarius Dwarf Spheroidal and Canis Major Dwarf Galaxy, lying closer to the center of the Milky Way. It has a mass equivalent to approximately 10 billion times the mass of our Sun (1010 solar masses), making it roughly 1/10 as massive as the Milky Way, and a diameter of about 14,000 light-years, though the LMC is the fourth largest galaxy in the Local Group.


Portal:Star/Selected picture/2

Messier 82
Photo credit: NASA

Messier 82 (also known as NGC 3034, Cigar Galaxy or M82) is the prototypenearby starburst galaxy about 12 million light-years away in the constellation Ursa Major. The starburst galaxy is five times as bright as the whole Milky Way and one hundred times as bright as our galaxy's center. M82 was previously believed to be an irregular galaxy. However, in 2005, two symmetric spiral arms were discovered in the near-infrared (NIR) images of M82, and is now considered a spiral galaxy.


Portal:Star/Selected picture/3

NGC 7293, a planetary nebula
Photo credit: Hubble Space Telescope/NASA and ESA

A planetary nebula is an emission nebula consisting of an expanding glowing shell of ionized gas and plasma ejected during the asymptotic giant branch phase of certain types of stars late in their life. This name originated with their first discovery in the 18th century because of their similarity in appearance to giant planets when viewed through small optical telescopes, and is otherwise unrelated to the planets of the solar system. They are a relatively short-lived phenomenon, lasting a few tens of thousands of years, compared to a typical stellar lifetime of several billion years.

Planetary nebulae play a crucial role in the chemical evolution of the galaxy, returning material to the interstellar medium that has been enriched in heavy elements and other products of nucleosynthesis.


Portal:Star/Selected picture/4

Pinwheel Galaxy
Photo credit: NASA

The Pinwheel Galaxy (also known as Messier 101 or NGC 5457) is a face-on spiral galaxy about 27 million light-years away in the constellation Ursa Major, discovered by Pierre Méchain. On February 28, 2006, NASA and the ESA released a very detailed image of Pinwheel Galaxy, which was the largest and most detailed image of a galaxy by Hubble Space Telescope at the time. The image was composed from 51 individual exposures, plus some extra ground-based photos. M101 is a relatively large galaxy compared to the Milky Way. With a diameter of 170,000 light-years it is nearly twice the size of the Milky Way. It has a disk mass on the order of 100 billion solar masses, along with a small bulge of about 3 billion solar masses.


Portal:Star/Selected picture/5

Crab Nebula
Photo credit: NASA

The Crab Nebula (catalogue designations M1, NGC 1952, Taurus A) is a supernova remnant and pulsar wind nebula in the constellation of Taurus. The nebula was observed by John Bevis in 1731; it corresponds to a bright supernova recorded by Chinese and Arab astronomers in 1054. At X-ray and gamma-ray energies above 30 KeV, the Crab is generally the strongest persistent source in the sky, with measured flux extending to above 1012 eV. Located at a distance of about 6,500 light-years (2 kpc) from Earth, the nebula has a diameter of 11 ly (3.4 pc) and expands at a rate of about 1,500 kilometers per second.

At the center of the nebula lies the Crab Pulsar, a rotating neutron star, which emits pulses of radiation from gamma rays to radio waves with a spin rate of 30.2 times per second. The nebula acts as a source of radiation for studying celestial bodies that occult it.


Portal:Star/Selected picture/6

Messier 82
Photo credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA

Messier 5 or M5 (also designated NGC 5904) is a globular cluster in the constellation Serpens. It was discovered by Gottfried Kirch in 1702. Spanning 165 light-years in diameter, M5 is one of the larger globular clusters known. M5 is, under extremely good conditions, just visible to the naked eye as a faint star.


Portal:Star/Selected picture/7

Photo credit: US Air Force

Auroras, sometimes called the northern and southern (polar) lights or aurorae (singular: aurora), are natural light displays in the sky, usually observed at night, particularly in the polar regions. They typically occur in the ionosphere. They are also referred to as polar auroras. In northern latitudes, the effect is known as the aurora borealis, named after the Roman goddess of dawn, Aurora, and the Greek name for north wind, Boreas, by Pierre Gassendi in 1621. The aurora borealis is also called the northern polar lights, as it is only visible in the sky from the Northern Hemisphere, with the chance of visibility increasing with proximity to the North Magnetic Pole (Earth's is currently in the arctic islands of northern Canada).


Portal:Star/Selected picture/8

Photo credit: NASA/TRACE

Sunspots are temporary phenomena on the surface of the Sun (the photosphere) that appear visibly as dark spots compared to surrounding regions. They are caused by intense magnetic activity, which inhibits convection, forming areas of reduced surface temperature. Although they are at temperatures of roughly 3,000–4,500 K, the contrast with the surrounding material at about 5,780 K leaves them clearly visible as dark spots, as the intensity of a heated black body (closely approximated by the photosphere) is a function of T (temperature) to the fourth power. If the sunspot were isolated from the surrounding photosphere it would be brighter than an electric arc. Sunspots expand and contract as they move across the surface of the sun and can be as large as 80,000 km (50,000 miles) in diameter, making the larger ones visible from Earth without the aid of a telescope.


Portal:Star/Selected picture/9

Red dwarf
Photo credit: NASA/Walt Feimer

According to the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram, a red dwarf is a small and relatively cool star, of the main sequence, either late K or M spectral type. They constitute the vast majority of stars and have a mass of less than half that of the Sun (down to about 0.075 solar masses, which are brown dwarfs) and a surface temperature of less than 4,000 K.


Portal:Star/Selected picture/10

A diagram of the Sun
Photo credit: commons:User:Pbroks13
An illustration of the structure of the Sun:
1. Core
2. Radiative zone
3. Convective zone
4. Photosphere
5. Chromosphere
6. Corona
7. Sunspot
8. Granules
9. Prominence

Portal:Star/Selected picture/11

Messier 80
Photo credit: NASA

This stellar swarm is Messier 80 (NGC 6093), one of the densest of the 147 known globular star clusters in the Milky Way galaxy, located about 28,000 light-years from Earth. Every star visible in this image is either more highly evolved than, or in a few rare cases more massive than, our own Sun. Especially obvious are the bright red giants, which are stars similar to the Sun in mass that are nearing the ends of their lives.


Portal:Star/Selected picture/12

Hertzsprung-Russell diagram
Photo credit: NASA/TRACE

In astronomy, stellar classification is a classification of stars based on their spectral characteristics. The spectral class of a star is a designated class of a star describing the ionization of its chromosphere, what atomic excitations are most prominent in the light, giving an objective measure of the temperature in this chromosphere.


Portal:Star/Selected picture/13

Messier 10
Photo credit: NASA/WikiSky

Messier 10 or M10 (also designated NGC 6254) is a globular cluster in the constellation of Ophiuchus. It was discovered by Charles Messier.


Portal:Star/Selected picture/14

Messier 4
Photo credit: NASA/WikiSky

Messier 4 or M4 (also designated NGC 6121) is a globular cluster in the constellation of Scorpius. It was discovered by Philippe Loys de Chéseaux in 1746 and catalogued by Charles Messier in 1764. It was the first globular cluster in which individual stars were resolved.


Portal:Star/Selected picture/15

Relative sizes of the planets in the Solar System and several well known stars
Photo credit: Dave Jarvis
  1. Mercury < Mars < Venus < Earth
  2. Earth < Neptune < Uranus < Saturn < Jupiter
  3. Jupiter < Wolf 359 < Sun < Sirius
  4. Sirius < Pollux < Arcturus < Aldebaran
  5. Aldebaran < Rigel < Antares < Betelgeuse
  6. Betelgeuse < Mu Cephei < VV Cephei A < VY Canis Majoris.

Portal:Star/Selected picture/16

A historical depiction of Andromeda constellation
Photo credit: Urania's Mirror (Sidney Hall/Adam Cuerden)

Andromeda as depicted in Urania's Mirror, set of constellation cards published in London c.1825.


Portal:Star/Selected picture/17

IAU Virgo chart
Photo credit: IAU and Sky & Telescope magazine

Virgo is one of the constellations of the zodiac. Its name is Latin for virgin. Lying between Leo to the west and Libra to the east, it is the second largest constellation in the sky (after Hydra). It can be easily found through its brightest star, Spica.

Virgo|

Portal:Star/Selected picture/18

IAU Indus chart
Photo credit: IAU and Sky & Telescope magazine

Indus is a constellation in the southern sky. Created in the late sixteenth century, it represents an Indian, a word that could refer at the time to any native of Asia or the Americas.


Portal:Star/Selected picture/19

IAU Indus chart
Photo credit: IAU and Sky & Telescope magazine

Boötes /bˈtz/ is a constellation in the northern sky, located between 0° and +60° declination, and 13 and 16 hours of right ascension on the celestial sphere. The name comes from the Greek Βοώτης, Boōtēs, meaning herdsman or plowman (literally, ox-driver; from boos, related to the Latin bovis, “cow”).


Portal:Star/Selected picture/20

The Orion Belt
Photo credit: Digitized Sky Survey, ESA/ESO/NASA

Orion's Belt or the Belt of Orion is an asterism in the constellation Orion, consisting of the three bright stars Alnitak, Alnilam and Mintaka. The stars are more or less evenly spaced in a straight line, and so can be visualized as the belt of the hunter's clothing.


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