Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Little Planet Lovejoy
Once a bright apparition in the southern hemisphere dawn Comet Lovejoy is fading, but its long tail still stretches across skies near the south celestial pole. Captured on the morning of December 30th, the comet appears near edge of this little planet as well.
Bright Star Regulus near the Leo I Dwarf Galaxy
The star near the top is so bright that it is sometimes hard to notice the galaxy toward the bottom. Pictured above, both the star, Regulus, and the galaxy, Leo I, can be found within one degree of each other toward the constellation of the Lion (Leo).
Facing NGC 6946
From our vantage point in the Milky Way Galaxy, we see NGC 6946 face-on. The big, beautiful spiral galaxy is located just 10 million light-years away, behind a veil of foreground dust and stars in the high and far-off constellation of Cepheus.
Lighthouse and Meteor
Named for a forgotten constellation, the Quadrantid Meteor Shower is an annual event for planet Earth's northern hemisphere skygazers. It usually peaks briefly in the cold, early morning hours of January 4. The shower's radiant point on the sky lies within the old, astronomically obsolete constellation Quadrans Muralis.
Grand Spiral Galaxy NGC 1232
Galaxies are fascinating not only for what is visible, but for what is invisible. Grand spiral galaxy NGC 1232, captured in detail by one of the new Very Large Telescopes, is a good example.
A Wide Field Image of the Galactic Center
From Sagittarius to Scorpius, the central Milky Way is a truly beautiful part of planet Earth's night sky. The gorgeous region is captured in this wide field image spanning about 30 degrees.
Ringside with Titan and Dione
Orbiting in the plane of Saturn's rings, Saturnian moons have a perpetual ringside view of the gorgeous gas giant planet. Of course, while passing near the ring plane the Cassini spacecraft also shares their stunning perspective.
Starburst Galaxy IC 10
Lurking behind dust and stars near the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy, IC 10 is a mere 2.3 million light-years distant. Even though its light is dimmed by intervening dust, the irregular dwarf galaxy still shows off vigorous star-forming regions that shine with a telltale reddish glow in this colorful skyscape.
A Full Sky Aurora Over Norway
Higher than the highest building, higher than the highest mountain, higher than the highest airplane, lies the realm of the aurora. Auroras rarely reach below 60 kilometers, and can range up to 1000 kilometers. Aurora light results from energetic electrons and protons striking molecules in the Earth's atmosphere.
Spot the Moon
Where's the full Moon? Somewhere in this image, the Earth's Moon is hiding. The entire Moon is visible, in its completely full phase, in plain sight. Even the photographer's keen...