Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Aurora over Sweden
It was bright and green and stretched across the sky. This striking aurora display was captured last month just outside of жstersund, Sweden. Six photographic fields were merged to create the featured panorama spanning almost 180 degrees. Particularly striking aspects of this aurora include its sweeping arc-like shape and its stark definition.
Where is NASA's rover Curiosity going on Mars? Its geographical goals are on the slopes of Mount Sharp, whose peak is seen in the background on the right. A key scientific goal, however, remains to better assess when and where conditions on Mars were once suitable for life, in particular microbial life.
Contemplating the Sun
Have you contemplated your home star recently? Featured here, a Sun partially eclipsed on the top left by the Moon is also seen eclipsed by earthlings contemplating the eclipse below. The spectacular menagerie...
Moon over Makemake
Makemake, second brightest dwarf planet of the Kuiper belt, has a moon. Nicknamed MK2, Makemake's moon reflects sunlight with a charcoal-dark surface, about 1,300 times fainter than its parent body. Still...
Fermi s Gamma-ray Moon
If you could only see gamma-rays, photons with up to a billion or more times the energy of visible light, the Moon would be brighter than the Sun! That startling notion underlies this novel...
A Dust Angel Nebula
The combined light of stars along the Milky Way are reflected by these cosmic dust clouds that soar some 300 light-years or so above the plane of our galaxy. Dubbed the Angel Nebula, the faint apparition is part of an expansive complex of dim and relatively unexplored, diffuse molecular clouds.
Omega Centauri: The Brightest Globular Star Cluster
This huge ball of stars predates our Sun. Long before humankind evolved, before dinosaurs roamed, and even before our Earth existed, ancient globs of stars condensed and orbited a young Milky Way Galaxy. Of the 200 or so globular clusters that survive today, Omega Centauri is the largest, containing over ten million stars.
NGC 6872: A Stretched Spiral Galaxy
What makes this spiral galaxy so long? Measuring over 700,000 light years across from top to bottom, NGC 6872, also known as the Condor galaxy, is one of the most elongated barred spiral galaxies known.
Simeis 147: Supernova Remnant
It's easy to get lost following the intricate strands of the Spaghetti Nebula. A supernova remnant cataloged as Simeis 147 and Sh2-240, the glowing gas filaments cover nearly 3 degrees -- 6 full moons -- on the sky. That's about 150 light-years at the stellar debris cloud's estimated distance of 3,000 light-years.
M16: Pillars of Star Creation
Newborn stars are forming in the Eagle Nebula. This image, taken with the Hubble Space Telescope in 1995, shows evaporating gaseous globules (EGGs) emerging from pillars of molecular hydrogen gas and dust. The giant pillars are light years in length and are so dense that interior gas contracts gravitationally to form stars.