Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Full Throttle For Deep Space 1
At full throttle the Deep Space 1 spacecraft's innovative ion drive produces about 1/50th of a pound of thrust ... a force so great that it would just about hold up a piece of paper on planet Earth! Still, powered by solar arrays ion propulsion systems can run continuously.
Where a Black Hole Roams
Black hole candidate XTE J1118+480 is known to roam the halo of our Milky Way Galaxy. This exotic system - thought to be a stellar mass black hole consuming matter from a companion star - was discovered only last year as a flaring celestial x-ray source.
X Ray Stars in M15
Side by side, two x-ray stars greeted astronomers in this false-color Chandra Observatory x-ray image of a region near the core of globular star cluster M15. The greeting was a pleasant surprise, as all previous x-ray images of the cluster showed only one such source where Chandra's sharper x-ray vision now reveals two.
SIRTF: Name This Satellite
NASA is preparing to launch its next Great Observatory in 2002, but it does not yet have a proper name. Can you help? Currently referred to only as the Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF), NASA seeks to add something more significant.
Surrounded by Mars
Just after landing on Mars in 1997, the robotic Mars Pathfinder main station took a quick first look around. This insurance panorama was taken even before the Sagan Memorial Station camera was raised to its two-meter-high perch. The full view is best seen by slowly scrolling to the right.
This new image composite of the southwest region of M31 from the Subaru Telescope shows many stars, nebulae, and star clusters never before resolved. An older population of stars near Andromeda's center causes the yellow hue visible on the upper right. Young blue stars stand out in the spiral arms on the lower left.
Venus Once Molten Surface
If you could look at Venus with radar eyes - this is what you might see. This computer reconstruction of the surface of Venus was created from data from the Magellan spacecraft. Magellan orbited Venus and used radar to map our neighboring planet's surface between 1990 and 1994.
Eclipsed Moon in Infrared
The total lunar eclipse of September 1996 disappointed many observers in North America who were cursed with cloudy skies. However, the Midcourse Space Experiment (MSX) satellite had a spectacular view from Earth orbit and SPIRIT III, an onboard infrared telescope, was used to repeatedly image the moon during the eclipse.
Cold Dust in the Eagle Nebula
Stars are born in M16's Eagle Nebula, a stellar nursery 7,000 light-years from Earth toward the constellation Serpens. The striking nebula's star forming pillars of gas and dust are familiar to astronomers from images at visible wavelengths, but this false-color picture shows off the nebula in infrared light.
X Rays And The Circinus Pulsar
A bizarre stellar corpse 19,000 light-years from Earth, pulsar PSR B1509-58 beckons from the small southern constellation of Circinus. Like its cousin at the heart of the Crab nebula, the Circinus pulsar is a rapidly spinning, magnetized neutron star.