Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Impact! 65 Million Years Ago
What killed the dinosaurs? Their sudden disappearance 65 million years ago, along with about 70 percent of all species then living on Earth, is known as the K-T event (Cretaceous-Tertiary Mass Extinction event). Geologists and paleontologists often entertain the idea of a large asteroid
Floating Free in Space
NASA astronauts can float free in space without any connection to a spaceship. Here astronaut Bruce McCandless maneuvers outside the Space Shuttle Challenger by firing nitrogen gas thrusters on his manned maneuvering unit (MMU). This picture was taken in 1984 and records this first untethered spacewalk. The MMU was developed because astronauts found tethers restrictive.
Mars Pathfinder Super Pan
Spectacular details of rover tracks, wind-driven soil, and textured rocks on the Martian surface fill this color mosaic. The view is north-northeast from the Sagan Memorial Station at the Pathfinder landing site on Mars.
Hale Bopp and the North American Nebula
Comet Hale-Bopp's recent encounter with the inner Solar System allowed many breath-taking pictures. Above, Comet Hale-Bopp was photographed on March 8th in the constellation of Cygnus. Visible on the right in red is the North American Nebula, a bright emission nebula observable from a dark location with binoculars.
The Brightest Star Yet Known
Star light, star bright, a new brightest star has been discovered in the night. This new brightest star is so far away and so obscured by dust, however, that it took the Hubble Space Telescope to confirm it.
Europe at Night
This is what Europe looks like at night! Can you find your favorite European city? Although not all of Europe is shown, city lights might make this task possible. Continental outlines have been artificially drawn in yellow. The above picture is actually a composite of over 200 images made by satellites orbiting the Earth.
Surveyor At Mars
Mars Global Surveyor achieved Martian orbit on September 11 and began aerobraking into its final mapping orbit, a process that will take until March next year. Anticipating the labors ahead, Mars Orbital Camera operators have begun acquiring test images.
Worlds of a Distant Sun: 47 Ursae Majoris b
In the last few years, observational astronomy has given humanity evidence of the existence of worlds beyond the solar system. Solar-type stars are now inferred to harbor planets of approximately Jupiter mass - some residing in temperature zones which could conceivably support liquid water and therefore life!
In the Center of 30 Doradus
In the center of 30 Doradus lies a huge cluster of the largest, hottest, most massive stars known. The center of this cluster, known as R136, is boxed in the upper right portion of the above picture.
Comet Halley and the Milky Way
Comet Halley was photographed superposed in front of the disk of our Milky Way Galaxy in 1986 by the Kuiper Airborne Observatory. Comet Halley is the bright white streak near this photograph's center. Comet Halley is the most famous comet in history, and returns to the inner Solar System every 76 years.