Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)M104: The Sombrero Galaxy
The famous Sombrero galaxy (M104) is a bright nearby spiral galaxy. The prominent dust lane and halo of stars and globular clusters give this galaxy its name. Something very energetic is going on in the Sombrero's center, as much X-ray light has been detected from it.
M1: Filaments of the Crab Nebula
The Crab Nebula is filled with mysterious filaments. The Crab Nebula is the result of a star that exploded in 1054 AD. This spectacular supernova explosion was recorded by Chinese and (quite probably) Anasazi Indian astronomers.
Comet Hale-Bopp Returns
Comet Hale-Bopp has returned from behind the Sun. In December and early January, Comet Hale-Bopp was too near the Sun to be easily visible from Earth. Now the comet graces the morning sky and is visible from dark locations even without binoculars.
Running Red Rings Around Jupiter
Jupiter has rings, too. Unlike Saturn's bright rings which are composed of chunks of ice, Jupiter's rings are darker and appear to consist of fine particles of rock. The six pictures above...
Clyde W. Tombaugh: 1906-1997
Astronomer Clyde Tombaugh, discoverer of Pluto, died on January 17th. Inspiring many during his long and exceptional career, he had been living in Las Cruces, New Mexico with his wife of 60 years, Patsy. Today would have been his 91st birthday.
Stars Without Galaxies
Galaxies are made up of stars, but are all stars found within galaxies? Apparently not. Using the Hubble Space Telescope, researchers exploring the Virgo Cluster of galaxies have now found about 600 red giant stars adrift in intergalactic space.
Standing on the Moon
Humans once walked on the Moon. Pictured above is the second person to stand on the lunar surface: Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin. During this Apollo 11 mission, Neil Armstrong (the first person to walk on the moon) and Buzz Aldrin landed on the Moon while Michael Collins circled in the Command Module above.
Catching Falling Stardust
This carrot shaped track is actually little more than 5 hundredths of an inch long. It is the trail of a meteroid through aerogel exposed to space by the shuttle launched EURECA (European Recoverable Carrier) spacecraft.
Hamlet of Oberon
What's in a name? Since 1919, the International Astronomical Union has been charged with the task of establishing "conventional" nomenclature for planets, satellites, and surface features. For the remote Uranian system of moons, namesakes from Shakespearean works have been chosen.
What's the temperature outside? No matter where you are on Earth, the above map can tell you. This global montage was created using the temperature data from numerous satellites orbiting the Earth. This...