Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Minotaur Dawn
Last Saturday, some colorful dawn skies along the US east coast featured the Moon and a Minotaur rocket climbing into low Earth orbit. The 7AM launch of the four stage Air Force Minotaur I rocket took place at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia's eastern shore.
Star Forming Region NGC 6357
For reasons unknown, NGC 6357 is forming some of the most massive stars ever discovered. Near the more obvious Cat's Paw nebula, NGC 6357 houses the open star cluster Pismis 24, home to these tremendously bright and blue stars.
Massive Stars in Open Cluster Pismis 24
How massive can a normal star be? Estimates made from distance, brightness and standard solar models had given one star in the open cluster Pismis 24 over 200 times the mass of our Sun, making it a record holder.
Aurora Over Iowa
Last Thursday evening, stars were not the only lights in Iowa skies. Spectacular northern lights also shone from the heavens, extending across the midwestern USA and other locations not often graced with auroral displays.
A Force from Empty Space: The Casimir Effect
This tiny ball provides evidence that the universe will expand forever. Measuring slightly over one tenth of a millimeter, the ball moves toward a smooth plate in response to energy fluctuations in the vacuum of empty space.
A Path To Orion
Last Saturday, the Space Shuttle Discovery lit up the night as it climbed into orbit above planet Earth. From Oak Hill, Florida, USA - about 30 miles north of the Kennedy Space Center - design engineer...
NGC 1055 and M77
Large spiral galaxy NGC 1055 (top left) joins spiral M77 in this lovely cosmic view toward the constellation Cetus. The narrowed, dusty appearance of edge-on spiral NGC 1055 contrasts nicely with the face-on view of M77's bright nucleus and spiral arms.
Mountains of Titan
Peering through the thick, hazy atmosphere of Saturn's largest moon, an infrared camera onboard the Cassini spacecraft recorded this view of the tallest mountains ever seen on Titan. Captured during a flyby...
A Large Tsunami Shock Wave on the Sun
Tsunami's this large don't happen on Earth. One week ago, a large solar flare from an Earth-sized sunspot produced a tsunami-type shock wave that was spectacular even for the Sun. Pictured above...
Light Deposits Indicate Water Flowing on Mars
What's creating light-toned deposits on Mars? Quite possibly -- water! Images of the same parts of mid-latitude Mars taken over the years but released only last week have shown unexpected new light-toned deposits where there were none before.