Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Ares 1 X Rocket Lifts Off
Last week, NASA test fired a new rocket. The Ares 1-X was the first non-shuttle rocket launched from Kennedy Space Center since the Saturn launched humans to Earth orbit and the Moon in the 1960s and 1970s. NASA is testing Ares as a prelude to replacing the aging space shuttle fleet.
The Average Color of the Universe
What color is the universe? More precisely, if the entire sky was smeared out, what color would the final mix be? This whimsical question came up when trying to determine what stars are commonplace in nearby galaxies. The answer, depicted above, is a conditionally perceived shade of beige.
VdB 152: Reflection Nebula in Cepheus
Described as a "dusty curtain" or "ghostly apparition", mysterious reflection nebula VdB 152 really is very faint. Far from your neighborhood on this Halloween Night, the cosmic phantom is nearly 1,400 light-years away. Also cataloged as Ced 201, it lies along the northern Milky Way in the royal constellation Cepheus.
The Bubble and M52
To the eye, this cosmic composition nicely balances the Bubble Nebula at the upper right with open star cluster M52. The pair would be lopsided on other scales, though. Embedded in a complex...
Zodiacal Light Over Laguna Verde
An unusual triangle of light is visible this time of year just before dawn, in the northern hemisphere. Once considered a false dawn, this triangle of light is actually Zodiacal Light, light reflected from interplanetary dust particles.
JKCS041: The Farthest Galaxy Cluster Yet Measured
What if we could see back to the beginning of the universe? We can -- since it takes the age of the universe for light to cross the universe. Peering at distant objects, therefore, tells us about how the universe used to be, even near its beginning.
Central Cygnus Skyscape
In cosmic brush strokes of glowing hydrogen gas, this beautiful skyscape unfolds across the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy and the center of the northern constellation Cygnus the Swan. Recorded from a premier remote observatory site (ROSA) in southern France, the image spans about 6 degrees.
Galaxy Zoo Catalogs the Universe
You, too, can Zoo. The Galaxy Zoo project has been enabling citizen scientists -- inquisitive people like yourself armed with only a web browser-- to sort through the universe. Specifically, after a brief training session...
M1: The Crab Nebula from Hubble
This is the mess that is left when a star explodes. The Crab Nebula, the result of a supernova seen in 1054 AD, is filled with mysterious filaments. The filaments are not only tremendously...
NGC 7331 and Beyond
Big, beautiful spiral galaxy NGC 7331 is often touted as an analog to our own Milky Way. About 50 million light-years distant in the northern constellation Pegasus, NGC 7331 was recognized early on as a spiral nebula and is actually one of the brighter galaxies not included in Charles Messier's famous 18th century catalog.