Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Portrait of NGC 281
Look through the cosmic cloud cataloged as NGC 281 and you might miss the stars of open cluster IC 1590. Still, formed within the nebula that cluster's young, massive stars ultimately power the pervasive nebular glow.
Puppis A Supernova Remnant
Driven by the explosion of a massive star, supernova remnant Puppis A is blasting into the surrounding interstellar medium about 7,000 light-years away. At that distance, this colorful telescopic field based on broadband and narrowband optical image data is about 60 light-years across.
LIGO Virgo GW170814 Skymap
From around planet Earth three gravitational wave detectors have now reported a joint detection of ripples in spacetime, the fourth announced detection of a binary black hole merger in the distant Universe. The event...
Layers of a Total Solar Eclipse
Neither rain, nor snow, nor dark of night can keep a space-based spacecraft from watching the Sun. In fact, from its vantage point 1.5 million kilometers sunward of planet Earth, NASA's SOlar Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) can always monitor the Sun's outer atmosphere, or corona.
Cassinis Last Ring Portrait at Saturn
How should Cassini say farewell to Saturn? Three days before plunging into Saturn's sunny side, the robotic Cassini spacecraft swooped far behind Saturn's night side with cameras blazing. Thirty-six of these images...
Massive Shell Expelling Star G79 29 0 46
Stars this volatile are quite rare. Captured in the midst of dust clouds and visible to the right and above center is massive G79.29+0.46, one of less than 100 luminous blue variable stars (LBVs) currently known in our Galaxy.
How to Identify that Light in the Sky
What is that light in the sky? Perhaps one of humanity's more common questions, an answer may result from a few quick observations. For example -- is it moving or blinking?
A Conjunction of Comets
A conjunction of comets is captured in this pretty star field from the morning of September 17. Discovered in July by a robotic sky survey searching for supernovae, comet C/2017 O1 ASASSN is at the lower left. The visible greenish glow of its coma is produced by the fluorescence of diatomic carbon molecules in sunlight.
Solar Eclipse Solargraph
Today is the September equinox. Heading south, the Sun's path through the sky will cross the celestial equator at 20:02 UT. Of course the equinox date results in (mostly) equal night and day all over planet Earth.
A September Morning Sky
The Moon, three planets, and a bright star gathered near the ecliptic plane in the September 18 morning sky over Veszprem Castle, Hungary. In this twilight skyscape, Mercury and Mars still shine close to the eastern horizon, soon to disappear in the glare of the Sun.