Astronomy Picture of the Day

Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)

Кассини приближается к Сатурну Cassini Approaches Saturn

Cassini, a robot spacecraft launched in 1997 by NASA, is close enough now to resolve many rings and moons of its destination planet: Saturn. The spacecraft has now closed to within a single Earth-Sun separation from the ringed giant. Early last month, Cassini snapped the contrast-enhanced color composite pictured above.

NGC 604: гигантская область звездообразования NGC 604: Giant Stellar Nursery

Stars are sometimes born in the midst of chaos. About 3 million years ago in the nearby galaxy M33, a large cloud of gas spawned dense internal knots which gravitationally collapsed to form stars. NGC 604 was so large, however, it could form enough stars to make a globular cluster.

Полное затмение Солнца в Антарктиде An Antarctic Total Solar Eclipse

The Sun, the Moon, and two photographers all lined up last month in Antarctica during an unusual total eclipse of the Sun. Even given the extreme location, a group of enthusiastic eclipse chasers ventured near the bottom of the world to experience the surreal momentary disappearance of the Sun behind the Moon.

Туманность Эскимос: вид с космического телескопа им.Хаббла The Eskimo Nebula from Hubble

In 1787, astronomer William Herschel discovered the Eskimo Nebula. From the ground, NGC 2392 resembles a person's head surrounded by a parka hood. In 2000, the Hubble Space Telescope imaged the Eskimo Nebula. From space, the nebula displays gas clouds so complex they are not fully understood.

Солнечные часы в обсерватории в Джайпуре Jaipur Observatory Sundial

Walk through these doors and up the stairs to begin your journey along a line from Jaipur, India toward the North Celestial Pole. Such cosmic alignments abound in marvelous Indian observatories where the architecture itself allows astronomical measurements.

Удивительная звезда V838 Mon Startling Star V838 Mon

Variable star V838 Monocerotis startled astronomers in January of 2002, undergoing a dramatic outburst like no other variable star known. Followed closely by ground-based instruments and the Hubble Space Telescope over the following months...

Межпланетный зонд "Новые Горизонты" на  Юпитере New Horizons at Jupiter

Headed for the first close-up exploration of the Pluto-Charon system and the icy denizens of the Kuiper belt, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft is pictured here in an artist's vision of the robot probe outward bound.

Восход Луны в тени вулкана Мауна Кеа Moonrise Through Mauna Keas Shadow

How can the Moon rise through a mountain? It cannot -- what was photographed here is a moonrise through the shadow of a large volcano. The volcano is Mauna Kea, Hawai'i, USA, a frequent spot for spectacular photographs since it is arguably the premier observing location on planet Earth.

NGC 869 и NGC 884: двойное рассеянное скопление NGC 869 and NGC 884: A Double Open Cluster

Most star clusters are singularly impressive. Open clusters NGC 869 and NGC 884, however, are doubly impressive. Also known as "h and chi Persei", this unusual double cluster, shown above, is bright enough to be seen from a dark location without even binoculars.

Линзообразное облако над Гавайями A Lenticular Cloud Over Hawaii

Can a cloud do that? Actually, pictured above are several clouds all stacked up into one striking lenticular cloud. Normally, air moves much more horizontally than it does vertically. Sometimes, however, such as when wind comes off of a mountain or a hill, relatively strong vertical oscillations take place as the air stabilizes.

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