Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Apollo 17's Lunar Rover
In December of 1972, Apollo 17 astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt spent about 75 hours exploring the Moon's Taurus-Littrow valley while colleague Ronald Evans orbited overhead. Cernan and Schmitt were the last humans to walk or ride on the Moon - aided in their explorations by a Lunar Roving Vehicle.
NGC 6934 from Gemini North
What's going on near the center of globular cluster NGC 6934? The blur caused by the Earth's atmosphere has prevented astronomers from discerning individual stars in this unusual environment. Telescopes in space can help, but the new Gemini North telescope took the above picture from the ground.
Gemini North Telescope Inaugurated
A new mammoth telescope has begun to inspect the northern sky. The 8-meter Gemini North telescope, pictured above, was dedicated last week in Hawaii, with images documenting its unprecedented abilities being released. Within two years, sister telescope Gemini South will begin similar observations of the southern sky from Chile.
From Mars with Love
Are Martians trying to tell us something? An indentation has been recently photographed on Mars that resembles a heart, a common human symbol for love. Because intelligent Martians have never been known to exist...
COBE 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. The Local Group falls toward the Virgo Cluster of Galaxies.
Shells in the Egg Nebula
The Egg Nebula is taking a beating. Like a baby chick pecking its way out of an egg, the star in the center of the Egg Nebula is casting away shells of gas and dust as it slowly transforms itself into a white dwarf star.
If you look carefully enough, you can even see the glow of the Sun in the opposite direction. At night this glow is known as the gegenschein (German for "counter glow"), and can be seen as a faint glow in an extremely dark sky, as pictured above.
NGC 1365: A Nearby Barred Spiral Galaxy
Many spiral galaxies have bars across their centers. Even our own Milky Way Galaxy is thought to have a bar, but perhaps not so prominent as the one in NGC 1365, shown above. The persistence and motion of the bar imply relatively massive spiral arms.
The Sudbury Neutrino Detector
Two thousand meters below the ground, a giant sphere has begun to detect nearly invisible particles. These particles, neutrinos, are extremely abundant in the universe but usually go right through just about everything.
PKS285 02: A Young Planetary Nebula
How do planetary nebulae acquire their exquisite geometrical shapes? To investigate this, astronomers used the Hubble Space Telescope to image several young planetary nebulae. These nebulae are the outer envelopes of stars like our Sun that have recently been cast away to space, leaving behind a core fading to become a white dwarf.