Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)M42: A Mosaic of Orion's Great Nebula
The Great Nebula in Orion, an immense, nearby starbirth region, is probably the most famous of all astronomical nebulae. Here, 15 pictures from the Hubble Space Telescope have been mosaicked to cover the inner 2.5 light years of the nebula and illustrate its diverse nature.
Apollo 15's Home on the Moon
Could you ever call this place home? The lunar module shown above, named "Falcon," served as home for Apollo 15 astronauts David Scott and James Irwin during their stay on the Moon in July and August 1971. Meanwhile, astronaut Alfred Worden circled in the command module overhead.
Apollo 12: Self-Portrait
Is it art? In November of 1969, Apollo 12 astronaut-photographer Charles "Pete" Conrad recorded this masterpiece while documenting colleague Alan Bean's lunar soil collection activities on the Oceanus Procellarum. The image is dramatic and stark.
This enhanced composite image detailing structure in the coma and dust tail of Hale-Bopp was recorded May 5 - one day before the comet's passage from north to south across the plane of Earth's orbit.
The forecast for Venus is cloudy, cloudy, cloudy. Although similar to the Earth in size and mass, Venus' slightly closer orbit to the Sun create for it a much thicker atmosphere and a much hotter surface. The thick atmosphere was photographed above in ultraviolet light in 1979 by the Pioneer Venus Orbiter.
NGC4039: Starbirth and Galaxy Death
Do star clusters form when galaxies collide? Quite possibly, according to Hubble Space Telescope observations of the "Antennae", two galaxies thought to be in the early stages of a collision.
Sunset with Hale-Bopp at Keck
A famous star cluster and observatory highlight this picture of Comet Hale-Bopp. Taken last week from the observatory summit of Hawaii's Mauna Kea Volcano, the dome of the new 10-meter Keck II telescope appears silhouetted on the lower left.
The Last Moon Shot
In 1865 Jules Verne predicted the invention of a space capsule that could carry people. In his science fiction story "From the Earth to the Moon", he outlined his vision of a cannon in Florida so powerful that it could shoot a "Projectile-Vehicle" carrying three adventurers to the Moon.
Giant Cluster Bends, Breaks Galaxy Images
What are those strange blue objects? Many are images of a single, unusual, beaded, blue, ring-like galaxy which just happens to line-up behind a giant cluster of galaxies. Cluster galaxies here appear yellow and -- together with the cluster's dark matter -- act as a gravitational lens.
X-Rays From IC 443
The life-cycles of stars help drive the ecology of our Galaxy, churning, processing, and redistributing matter. Massive stars reach a spectacular evolutionary endpoint - supernovae explosions which blast off their outer layers, violently merging stellar material with the gas and dust of the Milky Way. The supernova remnant IC 443 is typical of the aftermath.