Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Cat s Eye Wide and Deep
The Cat's Eye Nebula (NGC 6543) is one of the best known planetary nebulae in the sky. Its more familiar outlines are seen in the the brighter central region of this impressive wide-angle view. But the composite image also combines many short and long exposures to reveal the nebula's extremely faint halo.
A Visit from Atlantis
This remarkable image of the space shuttle orbiter Atlantis docked with the International Space Station (ISS) was taken at a range of 190 nautical miles. To record the fast moving pair, last week astronomers...
If seen in the right light, Saturn glows like a neon sign. Although Saturn has comparatively little of the element neon, a composite image false-colored in three bands of infrared light highlights features of the giant ringed planet like a glowing sign.
Wisps of the Iris Nebula
Like delicate cosmic petals, these clouds of interstellar dust and gas have blossomed 1,300 light-years away in the fertile star fields of the constellation Cepheus. Sometimes called the Iris Nebula and dutifully cataloged as NGC 7023, this is not the only nebula in the sky to evoke the imagery of flowers.
The International Space Station Expands Again
The developing International Space Station (ISS) has changed its appearance again. During the past week, the Space Shuttle Atlantis visited the ISS and added pieces of the Integrated Truss Structure that mirrored those added in September 2006, including a second impressively long array of solar panels.
All the Colors of the Sun
It is still not known why the Sun's light is missing some colors. Shown above are all the visible colors of the Sun, produced by passing the Sun's light through a prism-like device.
3D Barringer Meteorite Crater
Baringer Meteorite Crater, near Winslow, Arizona, is one of the best known impact craters on planet Earth. View this color stereo anaglyph with red/blue glasses to get a dramatic sense of the crater's dimensions -- one mile wide, and up to 570 feet deep.
Small Worlds Ceres and Vesta
Ceres and Vesta are, respectively, only around 950 kilometers and 530 kilometers in diameter - about the size of Texas and Arizona. But they are two of the largest of over 100,000 minor bodies orbiting in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.
Stars and the Solstice Sun
If you could turn off the atmosphere's ability to scatter overwhelming sunlight, today's daytime sky might look something like this ... with the Sun surrounded by the stars of the constellations Taurus and Gemini. Of course, today is the Solstice.
A Daylight Eclipse of Venus
Something was about to happen. Just two days ago, two of the three celestial objects easily visible during the day appeared to collide. But actually, Earth's Moon passed well in front of the distant planet Venus. The occultation was caught from Switzerland in the hours before sunset.