Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)NGC 6357: The Lobster Nebula
Why is the Lobster Nebula forming some of the most massive stars known? No one is yet sure. Cataloged as NGC 6357, the Lobster Nebula houses the open star cluster Pismis 24 near its center -- a home to unusually bright and massive stars.
LDN 43: The Cosmic Bat Nebula
What is the most spook-tacular nebula in the galaxy? One contender is LDN 43, which bears an astonishing resemblance to a vast cosmic bat flying amongst the stars on a dark Halloween night. Located...
Night on a Spooky Planet
What spooky planet is this? Planet Earth of course, on a dark and stormy night in 2013 at Hverir, a geothermally active area along the volcanic landscape in northeastern Iceland. Triggered by solar activity, geomagnetic storms produced the auroral display in the starry night sky.
LDN 673: Dark Clouds in Aquila
Part of a dark expanse that splits the crowded plane of our Milky Way galaxy, the Aquila Rift arcs through planet Earth's skies near bright star Altair. In eerie silhouette against the Milky...
Seven Years of Halley Dust
History's first known periodic comet Halley (1P/Halley) returns to the inner Solar System every 75 years or so. The famous comet made its last appearance to the naked-eye in 1986. But dusty debris...
Sunset, Moonset, Taj Mahal
On October 25th, Sun and New Moon set together as seen from Agra, India. Their close conjunction near the western horizon, a partial solar eclipse, was captured in this elevated view in hazy skies near the solitary dome of the Taj Mahal.
Cocoon Nebula Wide Field
When does a nebula look like a comet? In this crowded starfield, covering over two degrees within the high flying constellation of the Swan (Cygnus), the eye is drawn to the Cocoon Nebula.
Jupiter Rotates as Moons Orbit
Jupiter and its moons move like our Sun and its planets. Similarly, Jupiter spins while its moons circle around. JupiterБs rotation can be observed by tracking circulating dark belts and light zones. The Great Red Spot, the largest storm known, rotates to become visible after about 15 seconds in the 48-second time lapse video.
Clouds Around Galaxy Andromeda
What are those red clouds surrounding the Andromeda galaxy? This galaxy, M31, is often imaged by planet Earth-based astronomers. As the nearest large spiral galaxy, it is a familiar sight with dark dust lanes, bright yellowish core, and spiral arms traced by clouds of bright blue stars.
Milky Way and Zodiacal Light over Australian Pinnacles
What strange world is this? Earth. In the foreground of the featured image are the Pinnacles, unusual rock spires in Nambung National Park in Western Australia. Made of ancient sea shells (limestone), how these human-sized picturesque spires formed remains a topic of research. The picturesque panorama was taken in 2017 September.