Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)The Missing Craters of Asteroid Itokawa
Where are the craters on asteroid Itokawa? Missing -- unexpectedly. The Japanese robot probe Hayabusa approached the Earth-crossing asteroid in 2005 and returned pictures showing a surface unlike any other Solar System body yet photographed -- a surface possibly devoid of craters.
NGC 5101 and Friends
This sharp telescopic field of view holds two bright galaxies. Barred spiral NGC 5101 (top right) and nearly edge-on system NGC 5078 are separated on the sky by about 0.5 degrees or about the apparent width of a full moon.
Night Hides the World
Stars come out as evening twilight fades in this serene skyscape following the Persian proverb "Night hides the world, but reveals a universe." In the scene from last November, the Sun is setting over northern Kenya and the night will soon hide the shores of Lake Turkana, home to many Nile crocodiles.
The Terraced Night
Long after sunset on January 25 an unusually intense red airglow floods this south-looking skyscape. The scene was recorded with a long exposure using a digital camera over Yunnan Province in southwest China. At best faintly visible to the eye, the lingering airglow is due to chemiluminescence, the production of light through chemical excitation.
NGC 2683: Edge On Spiral Galaxy
Does spiral galaxy NGC 2683 have a bar across its center? Being so nearly like our own barred Milky Way Galaxy, one might guess it has. Being so nearly edge-on, however, it is hard to tell.
A Particle Beam Jet forms HH 24
If you visit HH 24, don't go near the particle beam jet. This potential future travel advisory might be issued because the powerful jet likely contains electrons and protons moving hundreds of kilometers per second.
Lunar Time Lapse Panorama including Yutu Rover
Where has the Yutu rover been on the Moon? Arriving in 2013 mid-December, the Chinese Yutu robotic rover has spent some of the past month and a half exploring Mare Imbrium on Earth's Moon. Because it uses solar power, the mechanical Jade Rabbit goes into sleep mode to endure the two-week long lunar night.
Mars and Orion over Monument Valley
Welcome to The World At Night. Sharing the night sky seen around the world, this view from Monument Valley, USA includes a picturesque foreground of famous buttes. Buttes are composed of hard rock left behind after water eroded away the surrounding soft rock.
NGC 6188 and NGC 6164
Fantastic shapes lurk in clouds of glowing gas in NGC 6188, about 4,000 light-years away. The emission nebula is found near the edge of a large molecular cloud unseen at visible wavelengths, in the southern constellation Ara.
Light Pillars from a Little Planet
Eerie pillars of light ring the edges of this snowy little planet. Of course the little planet is planet Earth, shown in a nadir-to-zenith, around-the-horizon, little planet projection. The spherical panoramic image mosaic maps a view from Siilinjärvi in eastern Finland.