Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Venusian Half Shell
Venus, second planet from the Sun, appears above imaged for the first time ever in x-rays (left) by the orbiting Chandra Observatory. Chandra's smoothed, false-color, x-ray view is compared to an optical image (right) from a small earthbound telescope.
Globular Cluster M15
Stars, like bees, swarm around the center of bright globular cluster M15. This ball of over 100,000 stars is a relic from the early years of our Galaxy, and continues to orbit the Milky Way's center.
The Belt of Venus
Although you've surely seen it, you might not have noticed it. During a cloudless twilight, just before sunrise or after sunset, part of the atmosphere above the horizon appears slightly off-color, slightly pink.
Craters produced by ancient impacts on the airless Moon have long been a familiar sight. But only since 1999 have observers seen elusive optical flashes on the lunar surface - likely explosions resulting from impacting meteoroids. These startling observations were made with modest telescopes and video equipment during the 1999 and 2001 Leonid meteor showers.
Mediterranean Leonid 2001
A road trip from Ankara to the Mediterranean coast southeast of Antalya, Turkey found clear skies and splendid scenery for astrophotographer Tunc Tezel's viewing of the 2001 Leonid meteor storm. There he captured this dream-like image of a fireball meteor near the twilit horizon, reflected in calm ocean waters.
Comet Linear (WM1) Brightens
A comet bright enough to be seen with binoculars is swooping into southern skies. Comet C/2000 WM1 (LINEAR) continues to brighten and develop tails as it nears its closest approach of the Sun in late January 2002.
A Sky Filled with Leonids
In the early morning hours of November 19, amateur Chen Huang-Ming caught a sky filled with astronomical wonders. With his fisheye camera set up on Ho-Huan Mountain in Taiwan for a half-hour exposure, he started the above image a local time of 2:33 am.
AE Aurigae: The Flaming Star
Is star AE Aurigae on fire? Although surrounded by what may look like smoke, the object known as the "flaming star" creates energy primarily by nuclear fusion, like other stars. Fire, typically defined...
Will it be curtains for one of these auroras? A quick inspection indicates that it is curtains for both, as the designation "curtains" well categorizes the type of aurora pattern pictured. Another (informal) type is the corona. The above auroras resulted from outbursts of ionic particles from the Sun during the last week of September.
Rumors of a Strange Universe
Three years ago results were first presented indicating that most of the energy in our universe is not in stars or galaxies but is tied to space itself. In the language of cosmologists, a large cosmological constant is directly implied by new distant supernovae observations.