Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Four Quasar Images Surround a Galaxy Lens
An odd thing about the group of lights near the center is that four of them are the same distant quasar. This is because the foreground galaxy -- in the center of the quasar images and the featured image -- is acting like a choppy gravitational lens.
A Supercell Thunderstorm Cloud Over Montana
Is that a spaceship or a cloud? Although it may seem like an alien mothership, it's actually a impressive thunderstorm cloud called a supercell. Such colossal storm systems center on mesocyclones -- rotating updrafts that can span several kilometers and deliver torrential rain and high winds including tornadoes.
All Planets Panorama
For 360 degrees, a view along the plane of the ecliptic is captured in this remarkable panorama, with seven planets in a starry sky. The mosaic was constructed using images taken during January 24-26, from Nacpan Beach, El Nido in Palawan, Philippines.
NGC 3621: Far Beyond the Local Group
Far beyond the local group of galaxies lies NGC 3621, some 22 million light-years away. Found in the multi-headed southern constellation Hydra, the winding spiral arms of this gorgeous island universe are loaded with luminous blue star clusters, pinkish starforming regions, and dark dust lanes.
Seven Worlds for TRAPPIST 1
Seven worlds orbit the ultracool dwarf star TRAPPIST-1, a mere 40 light-years away. In May 2016 astronomers using the Transiting Planets and Planetesimals Small Telescope (TRAPPIST) announced the discovery of three planets in the TRAPPIST-1 system.
Daphnis and the Rings of Saturn
What's happening to the rings of Saturn? Nothing much, just a little moon making waves. The moon is 8-kilometer Daphnis and it is making waves in the Keeler Gap of Saturn's rings using just its gravity -- as it bobs up and down, in and out.
An Active Night over the Magellan Telescopes
The night sky is always changing. Featured here are changes that occurred over a six hour period in late 2014 June behind the dual 6.5-meter Magellan Telescopes at Las Campanas Observatory in Chile.
Almost Three Tails for Comet Encke
How can a comet have three tails? Normally, a comet has two tails: an ion tail of charged particles emitted by the comet and pushed out by the wind from...
Black Sun and Inverted Starfield
Does this strange dark ball look somehow familiar? If so, that might be because it is our Sun. In the featured image from 2012, a detailed solar view was captured originally in a very specific color of red light, then rendered in black and white, and then color inverted.
Penumbral Eclipse Rising
As seen from Cocoa Beach Pier, Florida, planet Earth, the Moon rose at sunset on February 10 while gliding through Earth's faint outer shadow. In progress was the first eclipse of 2017, a penumbral lunar eclipse followed in this digital stack of seaside exposures.