Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)NGC1850: Star Cluster in the LMC
NGC1850 is a large cluster of stars located a mere 166,000 light-years from Earth in our neighboring galaxy the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). The colors in this beautiful Hubble Space Telescope composite image of the cluster reveal different populations of stars.
HH1/HH2: Star Jets
A cloud of interstellar gas and dust collapses and a star is born. At its core temperatures rise, a nuclear furnace ignites, and a rotating dusty disk forms surrounding the newborn star. According...
Asteroid 3753: Earth's Curious Companion
Earth is not alone. It orbits the Sun with a small companion: Asteroid 3753. First discovered in 1986 and designated 1986 OT, this five kilometer rock was recently found to orbit the Sun while executing a strange dance with the Earth. A portion of the asteroid's complex orbit is shown above.
Arp 220: Spirals in Collision
Arp 220 is the brightest object in the local universe. But why does it shine so brightly? Arp 220 was cataloged as a peculiar galaxy in the 1960s. In the late 1980s, it was discovered to be an ultraluminous infrared galaxy and headed a list compiled from observations with the now-defunct IRAS satellite.
APOD is Two Years Old Today
The first Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) appeared two years ago today. Pictured above is a scene surrounding the creation of an early APOD, depicting the famous astronomer Tycho Brahe demonstrating a celestial globe to Emperor Rudolph II. The image of a possible optical counterpart to a gamma-ray burst appears on the back wall.
Rockets and Robert Goddard
Robert H. Goddard, one of the founding fathers of modern rocketry, was born in Worcester Massachusetts in 1882. As a 16 year old, Goddard read H.G. Wells' science fiction classic "War Of The Worlds" and dreamed of spaceflight. By 1926 he had designed, built, and launched the world's first liquid fuel rocket.
The Early Universe
What did our universe look like when it was young? To answer this, cosmologists run sophisticated computer programs tracking the locations of millions of particles. The above animated frame is the result of such a calculation and shows how our universe might have looked when it was just a fracton of its current age.
Streaming From A Black Hole
Glowing gas clouds are streaming from the core of galaxy NGC4151 at hundreds of thousands of miles per hour. A powerful tool, the Hubble Space Telescope's new STIS instrument, makes it possible to map out the cloud velocities - producing this false color "velocity map" for the central regions of NGC4151.
Jupiter's Dry Spots
Known for its spectacular images of Jupiter's moons, Io, Ganymede, Callisto, and Europa, the robot spacecraft Galileo has also aggressively explored the Jovian atmosphere. In December of 1995, Galileo's atmospheric probe descended into Jupiter's clouds and reported a surprising absence of water.
The star cataloged as NGC2264 IRS is normally hidden from the inquiring gaze of optical telescopes. It resides in the midst of the obscuring gas and dust of a nearby star forming region popularly known as the Cone Nebula.