Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)APOD: 2024 January 14 Б Dragon Aurora over Iceland
Have you ever seen a dragon in the sky? Although real flying dragons don't exist, a huge dragon-shaped aurora developed in the sky over Iceland in 2019. The aurora was caused...
Circling the Sun
Earth's orbit around the Sun is not a circle, it's an ellipse. The point along its elliptical orbit where our fair planet is closest to the Sun is called perihelion. This year...
Good Morning Moon
Yesterday, the Moon was New. But on January 9, early morning risers around planet Earth were treated to the sight of an old Moon, low in the east as the sky grew bright before dawn.
Quadrantids of the North
Named for a forgotten constellation, the Quadrantid Meteor Shower puts on an annual show for planet Earth's northern hemisphere skygazers. The shower's radiant on the sky lies within the old, astronomically obsolete constellation Quadrans Muralis.
The Light, the Dark, and the Dusty
This colorful skyscape spans about three full moons across nebula rich starfields along the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy toward the royal northern constellation Cepheus. Near the edge of the region's massive...
APOD: 2024 January 9 Б Thors Helmet
Thor not only has his own day (Thursday), but a helmet in the heavens. Popularly called Thor's Helmet, NGC 2359 is a hat-shaped cosmic cloud with wing-like appendages. Heroically sized even for a Norse god, Thor's Helmet is about 30 light-years across.
APOD: 2024 January 8 Б The Phases of Venus
Venus goes through phases. Just like our Moon, Venus can appear as a full circular disk, a thin crescent, or anything in between. Venus, frequently the brightest object in the post-sunset or pre-sunrise sky, appears so small, however, that it usually requires binoculars or a small telescope to clearly see its current phase.
APOD: 2024 January 7 Б The Cats Eye Nebula in Optical and X-ray
To some it looks like a cat's eye. To others, perhaps like a giant cosmic conch shell. It is actually one of the brightest and most highly detailed planetary nebula known, composed of gas expelled in the brief yet glorious phase near the end of life of a Sun-like star.
The Snows of Churyumov Gerasimenko
You couldn't really be caught in this blizzard while standing by a cliff on periodic comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Orbiting the comet in June of 2016, the Rosetta spacecraft's narrow angle camera did record...
Trapezium: At the Heart of Orion
Near the center of this sharp cosmic portrait, at the heart of the Orion Nebula, are four hot, massive stars known as the Trapezium. Gathered within a region about 1.5 light-years in radius, they dominate the core of the dense Orion Nebula Star Cluster.