The Galaxy Cove

N44C: A Nebular Mystery
N44C is the designation for a fascinating region of ionized hydrogen gas surrounding an association of young stars in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a nearby, small companion galaxy to the Milky Way visible from the Southern Hemisphere. It stretches over an expanse of space that would take 125 years to cross if you were traveling at light-speed.
N44C is peculiar because the star mainly responsible for illuminating the nebula is unusually hot. The most massive stars, ranging from 10-50 times more massive than the Sun, have maximum temperatures of 30,000 to 50,000 degrees Kelvin. The star illuminating N44C appears to be significantly hotter, with a temperature of about 75,000 degrees Kelvin!
Ideas proposed to explain this unusually high temperature include the possibility of a neutron star or black hole that intermittently produces X-rays but is now “switched off.”
Credit: NASA and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA) Acknowledgment: D. Garnett (University of Arizona)

There’s a lunar crater named Beer. But it’s not named for the drink. It’s named for selenographer Wilhelm Beer.

On the road to the Milky Way - Flinders Ranges National Park, South Australia [1920x1272] [OC]

Markarian’s Chain
Markarian’s Chain is a chain of galaxies in the Virgo Cluster of Galaxies, located about 70 million light years away towards the constellation Virgo. While a few of the galaxies appear to be superposed by chance into the line, at least 7 move coherently together.
On the bottom right are two lenticular galaxies, M84 and M86, which line up through a few spiral galaxies, including M88, to the upper left of this image. The cluster to which they belong is the closest galaxy cluster to our Local Group, and exerts a gravitational influence on the galaxies around the Milky Way of the Local Group. There are over 2,000 galaxies total in the cluster.
Image and information from NASA.

The south pole of Mars, as seen by the European Space Agency’s Mars Express orbiter.

Taken with an iPhone through a telescope.