Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)The Nearest Stars
Which stars are closest to the Sun? The closest is Proxima Centauri, one of three stars that orbit each other about 4 light-years away in the Alpha-Centauri system. Alpha Centauri is easily visible from Earth's Southern Hemisphere. Next is Barnard's Star, a dim star visible with a telescope in the constellation of Ophiuchus.
Candidates for a Hypernova
What created these huge explosion remnants? Speculation has been building recently that outbursts even more powerful than well-known supernovae might occur. Dubbed hypernovae, these explosions might result from high-mass stars and liberate perhaps ten times more energy than conventional supernovae.
The Full Moon
Earth has one moon. A symbol in famous love songs, movies, poems, and folklore, many myths about the Moon date back to ancient history. In fact, the name Monday originates from Moon-day. The Moon glows by light it reflects from the Sun and is frequently the brightest object in the night sky.
Moon Over California
The Moon, Saturn, and Venus shine above while city lights twinkle below in the deepening twilight of March 19. Taken from outside Indio, California, the photo shows the city lights of Indio and nearby Palm Springs.
Gamma Ray Moon
What if you could see gamma rays (photons with more than 40 million times the energy of visible light)? If you could, the Moon would appear brighter than the Sun! This startling notion...
Upsilon Andromedae: An Extra Solar System
Yesterday, astronomers announced the discovery of the first system of planets around a normal star other than our Sun. Previously, only single planet star systems had been found. Subtle changes in the wobble of Upsilon Andromedae, a Sun-like star in the constellation of Andromeda, allowed astronomers led by R. Paul Butler (AAO) and Geoffrey W.
Apollo 17s Moonship
Awkward and angular looking, Apollo 17's lunar module Challenger was designed for flight in the vacuum of space. This sharp picture from the command module America, shows Challenger's ascent stage in lunar orbit.
The Backyard Universe
How far can you see from your own backyard? Across the Solar System, even across our Galaxy, these sights are not difficult. Recently, however, amateur Paul Boltwood gazed across the universe. His record setting image is shown above in false color.
The Case of the Missing Supernova
Would you notice a second Moon in the sky? About 700 years ago, light from a tremendous explosion reached Earth that should have appeared almost as bright as a full Moon. The bright spot should have lasted for weeks, yet no notation of such an occurrence has been found in historical records.
Nearby Spiral Galaxy NGC 4945
For such a close galaxy, NGC 4945 is easy to miss. NGC 4945 is a spiral galaxy in the Centaurus Group of galaxies, located only six times farther away than the prominent Andromeda Galaxy. The thin disk galaxy is oriented nearly edge-on, however, and shrouded in dark dust.