Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)A Meteor Over the Anza Borrego Desert
Meteors will be flashing across your skies over the next two nights. Specifically, the Perseid Meteor Shower should be at its best just before each morning's dawn. Observers at dark locations might see as much as a meteor a minute.
A Total Eclipse for Europe
The last total solar eclipse of this millennium will be visible for a few minutes tomorrow from a narrow path in Europe and Asia. There, millions of sightseers will witness the Moon move directly between the Earth and Sun, covering up the Sun completely.
A Martian Dust Storm Approaches
Batten down the hatches, here comes another Martian dust storm. The thin soil on Mars can be picked up by high winds to create dust storms that sweep down plains and can sometimes envelop most of the planet.
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.
Ida and Dactyl: Asteroid and Moon
This asteroid has a moon! The robot spacecraft Galileo currently exploring the Jovian system, encountered and photographed two asteroids during its long journey to Jupiter. The second asteroid it photographed, Ida, was discovered to have a moon which appears as a small dot to the right of Ida in this picture.
Hubble Tracks Jupiters Great Red Spot
It is a hurricane twice the size of the Earth. It has been raging at least as long as telescopes could see it, and shows no signs of slowing. It is Jupiter's Great Red Spot, the largest swirling storm system in the Solar System.
Asteroid 9969 Braille
NASA probe Deep Space 1 zoomed past asteroid 9969 Braille last week as it continued to test its new ion drive in the inner Solar System. The flyby was the closest approach a spacecraft has ever made to an asteroid. Looking back afterwards, DS1 took the above picture.
The Surface of Titan
If sailing the hydrocarbon seas of Titan, beware of gasoline rain. Such might be a travel advisory issued next millennium for adventurers visiting Titan, the largest moon of Saturn. Images of Titan's surface were released last week from the Keck 10-meter telescope featuring the finest details yet resolved.
The Vela Supernova Remnant Expands
The explosion is over but the consequences continue. About eleven thousand years ago a star in the constellation of Vela exploded, creating a strange point of light briefly visible to humans living near the beginning of recorded history.
On May 21, viewed from the continental US, a star winked out as it passed behind the dark limb of the first-quarter Moon. The star, Regulus, is hotter than the sun, about 69 light-years distant, and shines in Earth's skies as the brightest star in the constellation Leo, the Lion.