Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Open Cluster M8 in the Lagoon
The large majestic Lagoon Nebula is home for many young stars and hot gas. The Lagoon Nebulae is so large and bright it can be seen without a telescope. Formed only several million years...
Quadrantids: Meteors in Perspective
Meteor showers are caused by streams of solid particles, dust size and larger, moving as a group through space. In many cases, the orbits of these meteor streams can be identified with the dust tails of comets.
Catching Falling Stardust
This carrot shaped track is actually little more than 5 hundredths of an inch long. It is the trail of a meteroid through a gel exposed to space in low earth orbit by the shuttle launched EURECA (European Recoverable Carrier) spacecraft.
The Deep Field
The image above is part of the Hubble Deep Field and represents humanity's most distant yet optical view of the Universe. Galaxies like colorful pieces of candy fill the field, some as faint as 30th magnitude (about four billion times fainter than stars visible to the unaided eye).
Beneath Jupiter's Clouds
This near-infrared image of Jupiter was made using instrumentation at NASA's Infrared Telescope Facility, located on the summit of Mauna Kea, Hawaii, in support of the Galileo mission to Jupiter. The brightest spots...
Betelgeuse, Betelgeuse, Betelgeuse
Betelgeuse (sounds a lot like "beetle juice"), a red supergiant star about 600 lightyears distant, is shown here in this Hubble Space Telescope image which represents the first direct picture of the surface of a star other than the Sun.
The surface of the planet Mercury is not without fault. In this case, however, "fault" refers to unusual surface features that are the topic of much speculation. The above fault line is called Santa Maria Rupes, and runs through many prominent craters.
Mercury's Caloris Basin
Mercury, the closest planet to the Sun, has a surface with so many craters it resembles the Earth's Moon. The largest surface feature on Mercury is the Caloris Basin, which resulted from a collision with an asteroid.
The Dusty Disk of Beta Pic
This dusty disk, viewed edge on surrounding Beta Pictoris, a star only 50 lightyears distant, may signal the presence of an infant solar system. Beta Pictoris is a young Sun-like star just completing its formative stages.
MyCn18: An Hourglass Nebula
The sands of time are running out for the central star of this hourglass-shaped planetary nebula. With its nuclear fuel exhausted, this brief, spectacular, closing phase of a Sun-like star's life occurs as its outer layers are ejected - its core becoming a cooling, fading White Dwarf.