Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)The Tarantula Zone
The Tarantula Nebula is more than 1,000 light-years across - a giant emission nebula within our neighboring galaxy the Large Magellanic Cloud. Inside this cosmic arachnid lies a central young cluster of massive stars, cataloged as R136, whose intense radiation and strong winds have helped energize the nebular glow and shape the spidery filaments.
As the Sun sets, the Earth's shadow rises up from the east. The subtle beauty of this daily apparition is often overlooked in favor of the brighter, more colorful western horizon. But while...
X Rays from M17
About 5,000 light-years away, toward the constellation Sagittarius and the center of our galaxy, lies the bright star forming region cataloged as M17. In visible light, M17's bowed and hollowed-out appearance has resulted in many popular names like the Horseshoe, Swan, Omega, and Lobster nebula. But what has sculpted this glowing gas cloud?
The E Nebula in Aquila
Several unusual strands of darkness are prominent toward the constellation of Aquila. This particular dark nebula is known as the E Nebula, for its evocative shape, or B142 and B143, for its position(s) on a list of such nebula compiled by Barnard.
Mars Through a Small Telescope
How does Mars appear through a small telescope? Viewed with the unaided eye or through a small telescope, possibly the most striking part of Mars' appearance is it's red color. The color derives from rust, iron oxide, which composes perhaps 10% of the Martian soil.
Bright Lights, Dark City
Last Thursday, millions of people had an unexpectedly good view of a dark night sky. Usually, the reflection of city lights off of local air impurities makes it hard for casual observers to see more than a handful of stars from a bright urban area.
Natural Saturn On The Cassini Cruise
What could you see approaching Saturn aboard an interplanetary cruise ship? Your view would likely resemble this subtly shaded image of the gorgeous ringed gas giant. Processed by the Hubble Heritage project, the picture...
Rich star fields and glowing hydrogen gas silhouette dense, opaque clouds of interstellar gas and dust in this Hubble Space Telescope close-up of IC 2944, a bright star forming region in Centaurus, 5,900 light-years away. The largest of these dark globules, first spotted by South African astronomer A. D.
High-resolution imaging of an area in the Schiaparelli Basin of Mars on June 3 by the MGS Mars Orbiter camera produced this stunning example of layered formations within an old impact crater. On planet...
Dark Matter Map
The total mass within giant galaxy cluster CL0025+1654, about 4.5 billion light-years away, produces a cosmic gravitational lens -- bending light as predicted by Einstein's theory of gravity and forming detectable images of even more distant background galaxies.