Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Massive Stars Of 30 Doradus
This gorgeous visible-light Hubble Space Telescope image shows a young cluster of massive stars at the center of the 30 Doradus Nebula. Gas and dust clouds in 30 Doradus, also known as the Tarantula Nebula, have been sculpted into elongated shapes by powerful winds and ultraviolet radiation from these hot cluster stars.
The Crab Nebula in X Rays
Why does the Crab Nebula still glow? In the year 1054 A.D. a supernova was observed that left a nebula that even today glows brightly in every color possible, across the entire electromagnetic spectrum. At the nebula's center is an ultra-dense neutron star that rotates 30 times a second.
Mystery Object Explained
Explorers often discover the unexpected. Such was the case when the Second Palomar Observatory Sky Survey chanced upon the unusual object circled in the above photograph. The so-called mystery object appeared star-like but displayed colors unlike most stars or quasars.
Our Galaxy in Stars, Gas, and Dust
The disk of our Milky Way Galaxy is home to hot nebulae, cold dust, and billions of stars. The red nebulae visible in the above contrast-enhanced picture are primarily emission nebulae, glowing clouds of hydrogen gas heated by nearby, bright, young stars.
M83: A Barred Spiral Galaxy
M83 is a bright spiral galaxy that can be found with a small telescope in the constellation of Hydra. It takes light about 15 million years to reach us from M83. M83 is quite a typical spiral - much like our own Milky Way Galaxy.
Twistin By The Lagoon
The awesome spectacle of starbirth produces extreme stellar winds and intense energetic starlight -- bombarding dusty molecular clouds inside the Lagoon Nebula (M8). At least two long funnel shaped clouds, each roughly half a light-year long, have apparently been formed by this activity.
Cometary Globules In Orion
Intense ultraviolet light from massive, hot stars in the Orion region has sculpted and compressed clouds of dust and gas in to distinctively shaped Cometary Globules. Seen in this IRAS infrared image recorded...
Equinox and Eruptive Prominence
Today, the Sun crosses the celestial equator and seasons change from Summer to Fall in the north and Winter to Spring in the southern hemisphere. Defined by the Sun's position in sky the event is known as an equinox - the length of daylight is equal to the length of night.
Halos Around the Ring Nebula
What's happened to the Ring Nebula? The familiar Ring that can be seen with a small back-yard telescope takes on a new look when viewed in dim light. The above recently-released, false-color image...
The Quintuplet Star Cluster
Bright clusters of stars form and disperse near the center of our Galaxy. Four million years ago the Quintuplet Cluster, pictured above, formed and is now slowly dispersing. The Quintuplet Cluster is located within 100 light-years of the Galactic center, and is home to the brightest star yet cataloged in our Galaxy: the Pistol Star.