Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)GRB970508 Delivers Predicted Radio Emission
New evidence bolsters once controversial claims that Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRBs) are the most powerful explosions ever found by humanity. Two weeks ago, an average GRB became instantly historic when prompt, coincident X-ray and optical emissions were identified.
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.
Barred Spiral Galaxy NGC 1365
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 First Explorer
The first US spacecraft was Explorer 1. The cylindrical 30 pound satellite was launched (above) as the fourth stage of a Jupiter-C rocket (a modified US Army Redstone ballistic missile) and achieved orbit on January 31, 1958.
7,000 Stars and the Milky Way
This panorama view of the sky is really a drawing. It was made in the 1940s under the supervision of astronomer Knut Lundmark at the Lund Observatory in Sweden. To create the picture, draftsmen...
Signed, "A Black Hole"
This artistic image is actually the signature of a supermassive black hole in the center of distant galaxy M84 - based on data recently recorded by Hubble's new Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS). Very...
Hale-Bopp: Climbing Into Southern Skies
Fighting the glow of the setting sun and the city lights of Cape Town, South Africa, comet Hale-Bopp is just visible near the center of this panoramic view - photographed on May 3rd.
Hale-Bopp's Fickle Ion Tail
What's happening to Comet Hale-Bopp's blue ion tail? The comet's ion tail is fluctuating more rapidly as it passes a region of changing solar wind. As the comet passes from north to south, it crosses the plane of the Sun's equator, where the solar magnetic field changes direction.
Optical Transient Near GRB970508 Shows Distant Redshift
The GRB distance scale controversy may have just ended with a flash. Gamma Ray Bursts (GRBs) are powerful explosions occurring in seemingly random positions on the sky. They are so featureless and so poorly resolved, however, that their distances could not be determined.
Lightning on Jupiter
Does lightning occur only on Earth? Spacecraft in our Solar System have detected radio signals consistent with lightning on other planets, including Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. In the above photograph, optical flashes from Jupiter were photographed recently by the Galileo orbiter. Each of the circled dots indicates lightning.