Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)The Spider Nebula in Infrared
Will the spider ever catch the fly? Not if both are large emission nebulas toward the constellation of the Charioteer (Auriga). The spider-shaped gas cloud on the left is actually an emission nebula labelled...
Unusual Signal Suggests Neutron Star Destroyed by Black Hole
What created this unusual explosion? Three weeks ago, gravitational wave detectors in the USA and Europe -- the LIGO and Virgo detectors -- detected a burst of gravitational radiation that had the oscillating pattern expected when a black hole destroys a neutron star.
The Moon and Jupiter over the Alps
What are those bright lights in the sky ahead? When hiking a high mountain pass in northern Italy three weeks ago, a conjunction between our Moon and the distant planet Jupiter was visible as both rose together in the southwest after sunset.
M45: The Pleiades Star Cluster
Have you ever seen the Pleiades star cluster? Even if you have, you probably have never seen it as dusty as this. Perhaps the most famous star cluster on the sky, the bright stars of the Pleiades can be seen without binoculars from even the depths of a light-polluted city.
Few cosmic vistas excite the imagination like the Orion Nebula, an immense stellar nursery some 1,500 light-years away. Spanning about 40 light-years across the region, this infrared image from the Spitzer Space Telescope...
NGC 7129 and NGC 7142
This wide-field telescopic image looks toward the constellation Cepheus and an intriguing visual pairing of dusty reflection nebula NGC 7129 (right) and open star cluster NGC 7142. The two appear separated by only half a degree on the sky, but they actually lie at quite different distances.
M27: Not a Comet
While hunting for comets in the skies above 18th century France, astronomer Charles Messier diligently kept a list of the things he encountered that were definitely not comets. This is number 27 on his now famous not-a-comet list.
Messier 61 Close Up
Image data from the Hubble Space Telescope, the European Southern Observatory, and small telescopes on planet Earth are combined in this magnificent portrait of face-on spiral galaxy Messier 61 (M61). A mere 55 million light-years away in the Virgo Cluster of Galaxies, M61 is also known as NGC 4303.
Dark Dust and Colorful Clouds near Antares
Why is the sky near Antares and Rho Ophiuchi so dusty yet colorful? The colors result from a mixture of objects and processes. Fine dust illuminated from the front by starlight produces blue reflection nebulae. Gaseous clouds whose atoms are excited by ultraviolet starlight produce reddish emission nebulae.
NGC 2170: Angel Nebula Still Life
Is this a painting or a photograph? In this classic celestial still life composed with a cosmic brush, dusty nebula NGC 2170, also known as the Angel Nebula, shines near the image center. Reflecting...