Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)A Martian Lake Bed
Look closely. In this Mars Global Surveyor image of the Martian surface just south of Schiaparelli crater, dark lines appear to criss-cross light colored depressions. One tantalizing possibility is simply that the feature near...
Sprint the Flying Space Camera
Yes, but can your soccer ball do this? The ball near the middle of the above photograph is actually a robotic camera designed to float about a Space Shuttle and the International Space Station and take pictures.
Mysterious Features on Ganymede
Where is the rest of the circle? Jupiter's largest moon Ganymede has some truly unusual terrain, including the pictured half circle above cut by nearly parallel curves. Full circles can be easily explained by impact craters, but partial circles imply that some resurfacing has occurred since the original impact.
The Trifid Nebula in Red, White and Blue
Three dark dust lanes give the picturesque Trifid Nebula its name. The red and blue colors of the Trifid Nebula are present in different regions and are created by different processes. A big bright star near the center of the red region appears white hot and emits light so energetic
A Distant Cluster of Galaxies
In this 1994 Hubble Space Telescope photograph, every bright object is a galaxy. Oddly - most of them are spiral galaxies. This rich cluster of galaxies, named CL 0939+4713, is almost half way across the visible universe.
A Quasar Portrait Gallery
QUASARs (QUASi-stellAR objects) lie near the edge of the observable Universe. Discovered in 1963, astronomers were astounded that such objects could be visible across billions of light-years, as this implies they must emit prodigious amounts of energy. Where does the energy come from?
Seeing Through Galaxies
In this dramatic picture, spiral galaxy NGC 5091 appears in the foreground. Tilted nearly edge-on, the dust lanes between its spiral arms are clearly visible. The large elliptical galaxy NGC 5090 lies just beyond it - both are about 100 million light years distant in the southern constellation Centaurus. Can you see through the spiral galaxy?
A Sky Full Of Planets
Look up tonight. Just after sunset, the crescent moon and all five "naked-eye" planets (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn) will be visible (depending on your latitude), lying near our solar system's ecliptic plane.
Runaway stars are massive stars traveling rapidly through interstellar space. Like a ship plowing through the interstellar medium, runaway star HD 77581 has produced this graceful arcing bow wave or "bow shock" - compressing the gaseous material in its path.
Micro-Quasar GRS1915 Puffs
On the far side of our Galaxy, gas clouds explode away from a small black hole. This might seem peculiar, as black holes are supposed to attract matter. But material falling toward a black hole collides and heats up, creating an environment similar to a quasar that is far from stable.