Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Swirling Around the Eye of Hurricane Irma
Why does a hurricane have an eye at its center? No one is yet sure. What happens in and around a hurricane's eye is well documented, though. Warm air rises around the eye's edges, cools, swirls, and spreads out over the large storm, sinking primarily at the far edges.
Calm Waters and Geomagnetic Storm
Very recognizable stars of the northern sky are a backdrop for calm waters in this moonlit sea and skyscape off Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Taken on September 7, the photo also records a colorful display of northern lights or aurora borealis triggered by a severe geomagnetic storm.
The Great Gig in the Sky
There were no crowds on the beach at Phillips Lake, Oregon on August 21. But a few had come there to stand, for a moment, in the dark shadow of the Moon. From the beach, this unscripted mosaic photo records their much anticipated solar eclipse.
The Flash Spectrum of the Sun
In clear Madras, Oregon skies, this colorful eclipse composite captured the elusive chromospheric or flash spectrum of the Sun. Only three exposures, made on August 21 with telephoto lens and diffraction grating, are aligned in the frame.
The Climber and the Eclipse
What should you do if your rock climbing picture is photobombed by a total eclipse of the Sun? Rejoice -- because your planning paid off. After months of considering different venues, and a week...
Europa and Jupiter from Voyager 1
What are those spots on Jupiter? Largest and furthest, just right of center, is the Great Red Spot -- a huge storm system that has been raging on Jupiter possibly since Giovanni Cassini's likely notation of it 352 years ago. It is not yet known why this Great Spot is red.
Saturns Rings from the Inside Out
What do Saturn's rings look like from Saturn? Images from the robotic spacecraft Cassini are providing humanity with this unprecedented vantage point as it nears the completion of its mission. Previous to Cassini's Grand Finale orbits, all images of Saturn's majestic ring system were taken from outside of the rings looking in.
A Waterspout in Florida
What's happening over the water? Pictured here is one of the better images yet recorded of a waterspout, a type of tornado that occurs over water. Waterspouts are spinning columns of rising moist air that typically form over warm water.
Milky Way Voyager
Launched in 1977 on a tour of the outer planets of the Solar System, Voyager 1 and 2 have become the longest operating and most distant spacecraft from Earth. Nearly 16 light-hours from...
A First Glimpse of the Great American Eclipse
Making landfall in Oregon, the Moon's dark umbral shadow toured the United States on August 21. Those gathered along its coast to coast path were witness to a total eclipse of the Sun, possibly the most widely shared celestial event in history.