Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Along the Western Veil
Delicate in appearance, these filaments of shocked, glowing gas, are draped across planet Earth's sky toward the constellation of Cygnus. They form the western part of the Veil Nebula. The Veil Nebula itself is a large supernova remnant, an expanding cloud born of the death explosion of a massive star.
Gigantic Jet Lightning over India
Yes, but can your lightning bolt do this? While flying from Munich to Singapore earlier this month, an industrious passenger took images of a passing lightning storm and caught something unexpected: gigantic jet lightning. The jet was captured on a single 3.2-second exposure above Bhadrak, India.
Water Vapor Discovered on Distant Exoplanet
Where else might life exist? One of humanity's great outstanding questions, locating planets where extrasolar life might survive took a step forward recently with the discovery of a significant amount of water vapor in the atmosphere of distant exoplanet K2-18b.
A Lunar Corona over Turin
What are those colorful rings around the Moon? A corona. Rings like this will sometimes appear when the Moon is seen through thin clouds. The effect is created by the quantum mechanical diffraction of light around individual, similarly-sized water droplets in an intervening but mostly-transparent cloud.
A Long Storm System on Saturn
It was one of the largest and longest lived storms ever recorded in our Solar System. First seen in late 2010, the above cloud formation in the northern hemisphere of Saturn started larger than the Earth and soon spread completely around the planet.
Little Planet to Exoplanets
Of course this little planet is really planet Earth in a digitally stitched 360 x 180 degree mosaic captured high in the Chilean Atacama desert. The seemingly large domes house the 1-meter diameter telescopes of the SPECULOOS Southern Observatory.
A Harvest Moon
Famed in festival, story, and song the best known full moon is the Harvest Moon. For northern hemisphere dwellers that's a traditional name of the closest full moon to the September equinox. In most North America time zones this year's Harvest Moon will officially rise on Friday, September 13.
The Iris Nebula in a Field of Dust
These cosmic dust clouds drift some 1,300 light-years away along the fertile starfields of the constellation Cepheus. The beautiful Iris Nebula, also known as NGC 7023, blossoms at the upper left. Not the only nebula in the sky to evoke the imagery of flowers, its pretty, symmetric form spans about 6 light-years.
IC 1805: The Heart Nebula
What energizes the Heart Nebula? First, the large emission nebula dubbed IC 1805 looks, in whole, like a human heart. The nebula glows brightly in red light emitted by its most prominent element: hydrogen. The red glow and the larger shape are all powered by a small group of stars near the nebula's center.
Pluto in True Color
What color is Pluto, really? It took some effort to figure out. Even given all of the images sent back to Earth when the robotic New Horizons spacecraft sped past Pluto in 2015, processing these multi-spectral frames to approximate what the human eye would see was challenging.