Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Exploring The Universe With IUE (1978-1996)
How do planets, stars, and galaxies form? How do they evolve? The International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE) satellite was launched in 1978 and operated by NASA/ ESA/ PPARC to help provide answers to some of the most fundamental questions about the contents of our universe.
The X-Ray Moon
This X-Ray image of the Moon was made by the orbiting Roentgen Observatory Satellite (ROSAT) in 1990. It shows three distinct regions: a bright X-ray sky, a bright part of the Moon, and a relatively dark part of the Moon. The bright X-ray sky is due to the diffuse cosmic X-ray background.
A Soyuz at Mir
Pictured above is a three person Russian Soyuz capsule with wing-like solar panels extended, joined to the Mir space station. In Russian soyuz means "union" and indeed one of the milestones achieved by a Soyuz spacecraft was an orbital union with a US Apollo command module during the first international space mission (Apollo-Soyuz) in 1975.
Welcome Home Shannon Lucid
Today is Shannon Lucid's first day on Planet Earth in six months. Her stay aboard Russia's Mir Space Station was of record length - the longest stay of any American in space ever.
Tonight: A Total Lunar Eclipse
Tonight brings the last total lunar eclipse visible from North America until the year 2000 - with the Moon becoming completely immersed in Earth's shadow. The above time-lapse photograph shows a lunar eclipse that occurred in April 1993.
Bright Stars and Dark Clouds
Did you ever feel like a black cloud was following you around? Well don't feel bad - this even happened to the bright young stars of the open cluster NGC 6520. On the left are the cluster's bright blue stars.
Beneath Venus' Clouds
If the thick clouds covering Venus were removed, how would the surface appear? Using an imaging radar technique, the Magellan spacecraft was able to lift the veil from the Face of Venus and produce this spectacular high resolution imageof the planet's surface.
Venus: Earth's Cloudy Twin
If Venus weren't so cloudy it would be more similar to Earth. This picture by the Galileo spacecraft shows just how cloudy Venus is. Venus is very similar to Earth in size and mass - and so is sometimes referred to as Earth's sister planet - but Venus has a quite different climate.
The Equal Night
Today the Sun crosses the celestial equator heading south -- marking the Autumnal Equinox, the first day of Autumn. Equinox means equal night and with the Sun on the celestial equator, Earthlings will experience 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness.
The Ecliptic Plane
The Plane of the Ecliptic is illustrated in this Clementine star tracker camera image which reveals (from right to left) the Moon lit by Earthshine, the Sun's corona rising over the Moon's dark limb, and the planets Saturn, Mars, and Mercury.