Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Aurora and Light Pillars over Norway
Which half of this sky is your favorite? On the left, the night sky is lit up by particles expelled from the Sun that later collided with Earth's upper atmosphere Б creating bright auroras.
NGC 4651: The Umbrella Galaxy
It's raining stars. What appears to be a giant cosmic umbrella is now known to be a tidal stream of stars stripped from a small satellite galaxy. The main galaxy, spiral galaxy...
Blue Marble Earth
Welcome to planet Earth, the third planet from a star named the Sun. The Earth is shaped like a sphere and composed mostly of rock. Over 70 percent of the Earth's surface is water. The planet has a relatively thin atmosphere composed mostly of nitrogen and oxygen.
Symbiotic R Aquarii
Variable star R Aquarii is actually an interacting binary star system, two stars that seem to have a close symbiotic relationship. Centered in this space-based optical/x-ray composite image it lies about 710 light years away.
Moons at Twilight
Even though Jupiter was the only planet visible in the evening sky on February 2, it shared the twilight above the western horizon with the Solar System's brightest moons. In a single exposure...
Embraced by Sunlight
Even though Venus (left) was the brightest planet in the sky it was less than 1/30th the apparent size of the Moon on January 29. But as both rose before the Sun they shared a crescent phase.
The Galactic Center in Radio from MeerKAT
What's happening at the center of our galaxy? It's hard to tell with optical telescopes since visible light is blocked by intervening interstellar dust. In other bands of light, though, such as radio, the galactic center can be imaged and shows itself to be quite an interesting and active place.
Moon Phases 2022
What will the Moon phase be on your birthday this year? It is hard to predict because the Moon's appearance changes nightly. As the Moon orbits the Earth, the half illuminated by the Sun first becomes increasingly visible, then decreasingly visible.
Carina Nebula North
The Great Carina Nebula is home to strange stars and iconic nebulas. Named for its home constellation, the huge star-forming region is larger and brighter than the Great Orion Nebula but less well known because it is so far south -- and because so much of humanity lives so far north.
A Solar Prominence from SOHO
How can gas float above the Sun? Twisted magnetic fields arching from the solar surface can trap ionized gas, suspending it in huge looping structures. These majestic plasma arches are seen as prominences above the solar limb.