Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)The Colliding Galaxies of NGC 520
Is this one galaxy or two? The jumble of stars, gas, and dust that is NGC 520 is now thought to incorporate the remains of two separate galaxies. A combination of observations and simulations indicate the NGC 520 is actually the collision of two disk galaxies.
Jupiters Clouds from Cassini
Gas giant Jupiter is the solar system's largest world with about 320 times the mass of planet Earth. Famous for its Great Red Spot, Jupiter is also known for its regular, equatorial cloud bands, visible in very modest sized telescopes.
Beginning with a full view of beautiful spiral galaxy M81, follow the insets (left, bottom, then right) to zoom in on a real survivor. Seen at the center of the final field on the right is a star identified as the survivor of a cosmic cataclysm -- the supernova explosion of its companion star.
Shortly after sunset on September 6th, sky gazers around the world were treated to a lovely crescent Moon in western skies -- joined by bright planets Venus and Jupiter. In this colorful telephoto view from near Quebec City, Canada the Moon is nestled just above the wide St. Lawrence River.
IC 1396 in Cepheus
Stunning emission nebula IC 1396 mixes glowing cosmic gas and dark dust clouds in the high and far off constellation of Cepheus. As pictured here, the star forming region sprawls across hundreds of light-years -- spanning over three degrees on the sky while nearly 3,000 light-years from planet Earth.
The View from Husband Hill on Mars
Scroll right to see a breathtaking panorama of Mars from the top of Husband Hill. The image was taken by the robotic rover Spirit now exploring the red planet. Spirit, situated in expansive Gusev Crater, has been exploring the Columbia Hills for some time including climbing Husband Hill over the last few months.
Fresh Tiger Strips on Saturns Enceladus
The tiger stripes on Saturn's moon Enceladus might be active. Even today, they may be spewing ice from the moon's icy interior into space, creating a cloud of fine ice particles over the moon's South Pole and creating Saturn's mysterious E-ring.
Globular Cluster 47 Tucanae from SALT
Stars come in bunches. Of the over 200 globular star clusters that orbit the center of our Milky Way Galaxy, 47 Tucanae is the second brightest globular cluster, behind Omega Centauri. Known to some affectionately as 47 Tuc or NGC 104, it is only visible from Earth's Southern Hemisphere.
Comet Hale Bopp Over Val Parola Pass
Comet Hale-Bopp became much brighter than any surrounding stars. It was seen even over bright city lights. Out away from city lights, however, it put on quite a spectacular show. Here Comet Hale-Bopp was photographed above Val Parola Pass in the Dolomite mountains surrounding Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy.
The surface of Venus is perpetually covered by a veil of thick clouds and remains hidden from even the powerful telescopic eyes of earth-bound astronomers. But in the early 1990s, using imaging radar...