Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)A GRB 000301C Symphony
Last March, telescopic instruments in Earth and space tracked a tremendous explosion that occurred across the universe. A nearly unprecedented symphony of international observations began abruptly on 2000 March 1 when Earth-orbiting RXTE, Sun-orbiting Ulysses, and asteroid-orbiting NEAR all detected a 10-second burst of high-frequency gamma radiation. Within 48 hours astronomers
The Pulsar Powered Crab
In the Summer of 1054 A.D. Chinese astronomers reported that a star in the constellation of Taurus suddenly became as bright as the full Moon. Fading slowly, it remained visible for over a year.
Venus Evening Loop
From September 2000 through March 2001, astronomer Tunc Tezel patiently photographed the planet Venus on 25 different dates as it wandered through the evening twilight. The pictures were taken from the same spot...
LINEAR s Tail and Two Nuclei
Arcing toward southern skies in late March, this faint comet LINEAR - the one officially designated C/2001 A2 (LINEAR) - brightened unexpectedly. The outburst, apparently due to the fragmentation of its nucleus, delighted observers as the comet eventually increased to naked-eye brightness.
Stellar Spectral Types: OBAFGKM
Astronomers divide stars into different spectral types. First started in the 1800s, the spectral type was originally meant to classify the strength of hydrogen absorption lines. A few types that best describe the temperature of the star remain in use today.
Working in Space
High above planet Earth, a human helps an ailing machine. The machine, in this potentially touching story, is the Hubble Space Telescope, which is not in the picture. The human is Astronaut Steven L.
Close up of the Face on Mars
Wouldn't it be fun if clouds were turtles? Wouldn't it be fun if the laundry on the bedroom chair was a friendly monster? Wouldn't it be fun if rock mesas on Mars were faces or interplanetary monuments? Clouds, though, are small water droplets, floating on air.
Comet Hale-Bopp Over Val Parola Pass
Comet Hale-Bopp became much brighter than any surrounding stars. It was seen even over bright city lights. Out away from city lights, however, it put on quite a spectacular show. Here Comet Hale-Bopp was photographed above Val Parola Pass in the Dolomite mountains surrounding Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy.
NGC 6826: The Blinking Eye
The colorful planetary nebula phase of a sun-like star's life is brief. Almost in the "blink of an eye" - cosmically speaking - the star's outer layers are cast off, forming an expanding emission nebula. This nebula lasts perhaps 10 thousand years compared to a 10 billion year stellar life span.
Saturn The Giant
Forty years ago today (May 25, 1961) U.S. president John Kennedy announced the goal of landing Americans on the Moon by the end of the decade. Kennedy's ambitious speech triggered a nearly unprecedented peacetime technological mobilization and one result was the Saturn V moon rocket.