Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)The Antennae Galaxies
A ground-based telescopic view (left) of the collision between the galaxies NGC4038 and NGC4039 reveals long arcing insect-like "antennae" of luminous matter flung from the scene of the accident. Investigators using the Hubble Space...
The Butterfly Planetary Nebula
As stars age, they throw off their outer layers. Sometimes a highly symmetric gaseous planetary nebula is created, as is the case in M2-9, also called the Butterfly. Most planetary nebulae show this bipolar appearance, although some appear nearly spherical.
Spiral Eddies On Planet Earth
Can you identify this stellar nebula? How many light-years from Earth did you say? Looking like a twisting cloud of gas and dust between the stars this wispy nebulosity is actually close by - a spiral eddy formed near the North Atlantic Gulf Stream off the East coast of the US.
The Heart Of NGC 4261
What evil lurks in the hearts of galaxies? This Hubble Space Telescope picture of the center of the nearby elliptical galaxy NGC 4261 tells one dramatic tale. The gas and dust in this disk are swirling into what is almost certainly a massive black hole.
The Pleiades Star Cluster
It is the most famous star cluster on the sky. The Pleiades can be seen without binoculars from even the depths of a light-polluted city. Also known as the Seven Sisters and M45, the Pleiades is one of the brightest and closest open clusters.
Mars: A Mist In Mariner Valley
An icy mist and late afternoon clouds cover much of this section of Valles Marineris on Mars. The Valles Marineris or Mariner Valley is a huge canyon system about 2,000 miles long and up to 5 miles deep.
Cassini To Venus
NASA's Saturn Explorer Cassini with ESA's Titan Probe Huygens attached successfully rocketed into the skies early yesterday morning. The mighty Titan 4B Centaur rocket is seen here across the water gracefully arcing away from Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Station.
Cold Wind From The Boomerang Nebula
A cold wind blows from the central star of the Boomerang Nebula. Seen here in a false color image of dust reflected starlight, the nebula lies about 5,000 light-years away. The boomerang shaped...
Venus On The Horizon
The month of October features a sky full of planets, including Venus as the brilliant evening star. Besides the sun and moon, Venus is the brightest object visible in Earth's sky. This month, Venus appears in early evening near the red planet Mars and Mars' red giant rival Antares above the southwestern horizon.
Ice Clouds over Mars
Mars has clouds too. The above true color image taken in August by Mars Pathfinder shows clouds of ice high in the Martian atmosphere. Unlike Earth's atmosphere which is composed predominantly of nitrogen and oxygen, Mars' atmosphere is composed mostly of carbon dioxide.