Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Mir Dreams
This dream-like image of Mir was recorded by astronauts as the space shuttle orbiter Atlantis approached the Russian space station prior to docking during the STS-76 mission in 1996. Sporting spindly appendages and solar...
Supernova Remnant and Shock Wave
A massive star ends life as a supernova, blasting its outer layers back to interstellar space. The spectacular death explosion is initiated by the collapse of what has become an impossibly dense stellar core. Pictured is the expanding supernova remnant Puppis A - one of the brightest sources in the x-ray sky.
The Color of the Moon
Earth's Moon is normally seen in subtle shades of grey or yellow. But small color differences have been greatly exaggerated to make this dramatic mosaic image of the Moon's gibbous phase. The familiar Sea of Tranquility (Mare Tranquillitatis) is the blue area right of center.
Rotating Titan in Infrared Light
Titan is one of the strangest places in our Solar System. The only moon known with thick clouds, this unusual satellite of Saturn shows evidence of evaporating lakes created by methane rain. The clouds...
Dust and Light in the Rosette Nebula
What creates the cosmic dust sculptures in the Rosette Nebula? Noted for the common beauty of its overall shape, parts of the Rosette Nebula, also known as NGC 2244, show beauty even when viewed up close.
The N44 Emission Nebula
N44 is one of the largest and most intricate nebulas in this part of the universe. Located in our galactic neighbor the Large Magellanic Cloud, N44 houses numerous massive bright stars, lengthy lanes of dark dust, and vast clouds of hydrogen gas that glows red.
Phoebe: Comet Moon of Saturn
Was Saturn's moon Phoebe once a comet? Images from the robotic Cassini spacecraft taken two years ago when entering the neighborhood of Saturn indicate that Phoebe may have originated in the outer Solar System.
Plato and the Lunar Alps
The dark-floored, 95 kilometer wide crater Plato (top) and sunlit peaks of the lunar Alps are highlighted in this sharp digital mosaic of the Moon's surface. While the Alps of planet Earth were...
M8: The Lagoon Nebula
This beautiful cosmic cloud is a popular stop on telescopic tours of the constellation Sagittarius. Eighteenth century cosmic tourist Charles Messier cataloged the bright nebula as M8, while modern day astronomers recognize the Lagoon...
NGC 1309 and Friends
A gorgeous spiral galaxy some 100 million light-years distant, NGC 1309 lies on the banks of the constellation Eridanus. NGC 1309 spans about 30,000 light-years, one third the size of our larger Milky Way galaxy.