New Ribbon version 3.0 now released
Image by Mark M. Levito ~ United States
The Sun is the star at the center of the Solar System. It is almost perfectly spherical and consists of hot plasma interwoven with magnetic fields. It has a diameter of about 1,392,000 km, about 109 times that of Earth, and its mass (about 2×1030 kilograms, 330,000 times that of Earth) accounts for about 99.86% of the total mass of the Solar System. Chemically, about three quarters of the Sun's mass consists of hydrogen, while the rest is mostly helium. Less than 2% consists of heavier elements, including oxygen, carbon, neon, iron, and others.
Image by Ferran Bocsh ~ Spain
Orion central region including the Flame nebula, Horsehead nebula, M43, M42, etc. M42 - The Great Orion Nebula is one of the brightest nebulae, and is visible to the naked eye in the night sky. M42 is located at a distance of 1,344 ± 20 light years and is the closest region of massive star formation to Earth. The Horsehead Nebula is approximately 1500 light years from Earth. It is one of the most identifiable nebulae because of the shape of its swirling cloud of dark dust and gases, which is similar to that of a horse's head when viewed from Earth.
Image by Patrick Forster ~ United States
The North America Nebula (NGC 7000 or Caldwell 20) is an emission nebula in the constellation Cygnus. The remarkable shape of the emission nebula resembles that of the continent of North America, complete with a prominent Gulf of Mexico. It is sometimes incorrectly called the "North American Nebula". The North America Nebula is large, covering an area of more than four times the size of the full moon; but its surface brightness is low, so normally it cannot be seen with the unaided eye.
Image by Mark Viol ~ Canada
Comet Garradd (C/2009 P1) is at a distance of 1.402 AU from Earth and 2.193 AU from the Sun, Comet Garradd continues to brighten and will reach perihelion on December 23, 2011. A comet is an icy small Solar System body that, when close enough to the Sun, displays a visible coma (a thin, fuzzy, temporary atmosphere) and sometimes also a tail. These phenomena are both due to the effects of solar radiation and the solar wind upon the nucleus of the comet.
Image by Ferran Bocsh ~ Spain
M45 - The Pleiades, or Seven Sisters, is an open star cluster containing middle-aged hot B-type stars located in the constellation of Taurus. It is among the nearest star clusters to Earth and is the cluster most obvious to the naked eye in the night sky. Astronomers estimate that the cluster will survive for about another 250 million years, after which it will disperse due to gravitational interactions with its galactic neighborhood.
Image by Eric Yiskis ~ United States
Jupiter is the fifth planet from the Sun and the largest planet within the Solar System. It is a gas giant with a mass slightly less than one-thousandth of the Sun but is two and a half times the mass of all the other planets in our Solar System combined. Jupiter is classified as a gas giant along with Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Together, these four planets are sometimes referred to as the Jovian or outer planets.