Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)The Sombrero Galaxy in Infrared
This floating ring is the size of a galaxy. In fact, it is part of the photogenic Sombrero Galaxy, one of the largest galaxies in the nearby Virgo Cluster of Galaxies. The dark band of dust that obscures the mid-section of the Sombrero Galaxy in optical light actually glows brightly in infrared light.
The First Image of an Extra Solar Planet
It's the faint red object, not the bright white one that might be a historic find. The white object is surely a brown dwarf star. Quite possibly, however, the red object is the first direct image of a planet beyond our Solar System.
Stars, Dust and Nebula in NGC 6559
When stars form, pandemonium reigns. A textbook case is the star forming region NGC 6559. Visible above are red glowing emission nebulas of hydrogen, blue reflection nebulas of dust, dark absorption nebulas of dust, and the stars that formed from them.
CMBR Dipole: Speeding Through the Universe
Our Earth is not at rest. The Earth moves around the Sun. The Sun orbits the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. The Milky Way Galaxy orbits in the Local Group of Galaxies. The Local Group falls toward the Virgo Cluster of Galaxies.
NGC 3314: When Galaxies Overlap
NGC 3314 consists of two large spiral galaxies which just happen to almost exactly line-up. The foreground spiral is viewed nearly face-on, its pinwheel shape defined by young bright star clusters. But against the glow of the background galaxy, dark swirling lanes of interstellar dust are also seen to echo the face-on spiral's structure.
Hybrid Solar Eclipse
April's spectacular geocentric celestial event was a rare hybrid eclipse of the Sun - a total or an annular eclipse could be seen depending on the observer's location. For Fred Espenak, aboard...
Mira: The Wonderful Star
To seventeenth century astronomers, Omicron Ceti or Mira was known as a wonderful star - a star whose brightness could change dramatically in the course of about 11 months. Modern astronomers now recognize an entire class of long period Mira-type variables as cool, pulsating, red giant stars, 700 or so times the diameter of the Sun.
Cassini Spacecraft Crosses Saturns Ring Plane
If this is Saturn, where are the rings? When Saturn's "appendages" disappeared in 1612, Galileo did not understand why. Later that century, it became understood that Saturn's unusual protrusions were rings and that when the Earth crosses the ring plane, the edge-on rings will appear to disappear.
Solar System Rising Over Fire Island
If you wait long enough, the entire Solar System will rise before you. To see such a sight, however, you will need to look in the direction of the ecliptic. All of the planets and their moons orbit the Sun in nearly the same plane, the ecliptic plane.
Methuselah Outcrop on Mars
What the history of the outcropping of rock called Methuselah? The unusual rock group is visible on the left of the above image taken by the robot Spirit rover current exploring Mars. Methuselah was discovered while maneuvering over hilly terrain and shows unusual multiple layering that caught the attention of the rover science team.