Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)When Rainbows Smile
Want to see a rainbow smile? Look near the zenith (straight up) when the sun is low in the sky and you might. This example of an ice halo known as a circumzenithal arc was captured above a palm tree top from Ragusa, Sicily on February 24.
Globular Star Cluster 47 Tuc
Globular star cluster 47 Tucanae is a jewel of the southern sky. Also known as NGC 104, it roams the halo of our Milky Way Galaxy along with some 200 other globular star clusters. The second brightest globular cluster (after Omega Centauri) as seen from planet Earth, 47 Tuc lies about 13,000 light-years away.
A Flower Shaped Rock on Mars
It is one of the more unusual rocks yet found on Mars. Smaller than a penny, the rock has several appendages that make it look, to some, like a flower. Although it would...
Moon in Inverted Colors
Which moon is this? It's Earth's moon -- but in inverted colors. Here, the pixel values corresponding to light and dark areas have been translated in reverse, or inverted, producing a false-color representation reminiscent of a black and white photographic negative.
A Lion in Orion
Yes, but can you see the lion? A deep exposure shows the famous dark indentation that looks like a horse's head, visible just left and below center, and known unsurprisingly as the Horsehead Nebula. The Horsehead Nebula (Barnard 33) is part of a vast complex of dark absorbing dust and bright glowing gas.
Venus and the Triply Ultraviolet Sun
This was a very unusual type of solar eclipse. Typically, it is the Earth's Moon that eclipses the Sun. In 2012, though, the planet Venus took a turn. Like a solar eclipse by the Moon, the phase of Venus became a continually thinner crescent as Venus became increasingly better aligned with the Sun.
Interstellar Comet 2I Borisov
From somewhere else in the Milky Way galaxy, Comet 2I/Borisov was just visiting the Solar System. Discovered by amateur astronomer Gennady Borisov on August 30, 2019, the first known interstellar comet is seen in these two Hubble Space Telescope images from November and December 2019.
The Multiwavelength Crab
The Crab Nebula is cataloged as M1, the first object on Charles Messier's famous list of things which are not comets. In fact, the Crab is now known to be a supernova remnant, expanding debris from massive star's death explosion, witnessed on planet Earth in 1054 AD.
Spiral Galaxy NGC 2841
A mere 46 million light-years distant, spiral galaxy NGC 2841 can be found in the northern constellation of Ursa Major. This deep view of the gorgeous island universe was captured during 32 clear nights in November, December 2021 and January 2022. It shows off a striking yellow nucleus, galactic disk, and faint outer regions.
Record Prominence Imaged by Solar Orbiter
What's happened to our Sun? Last month, it produced the largest prominence ever imaged together with a complete solar disk. The record image, featured, was captured in ultraviolet light by the Sun-orbiting Solar Orbiter spacecraft.