Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)An Annotated Leonid
The 1998 Leonids Meteor Shower was one of the most photographed meteor event in history. Patient observers saw bright meteors streak across dark skies every few minutes, frequently leaving fading trails stretching across the sky. High above the Anza-Borrego Desert, a meteor was photographed streaking up from the radiant constellation of the Leonids: Leo.
Lunar Dust and Duct Tape
Why is the Moon dusty? On Earth, rocks are weathered by wind and water, creating soil and sand. On the Moon, the long history of micrometeorite bombardment has blasted away at the rocky surface creating a layer of powdery lunar soil or regolith. This lunar regolith could be a scientific and industrial bonanza.
SOHO Comet 367: Sungrazer
The most prolific comet discovering instrument in history rides aboard the sun-staring SOHO spacecraft, 1.5 million kilometers sunward of planet Earth. Of course, most of these SOHO comets have been sungrazers - like the one illustrated in the dramatic montage above.
Under A Sunspot
At the Sun's surface, sunspots are known to be dark, planet-sized regions of intense magnetic fields. But what lies below? Using observations from the Michelson Doppler Imager (MDI) instrument aboard the space-based SOHO observatory, astronomers have derived this premier picture of the flow of material just beneath a visible sunspot.
A Sun Pillar in Red and Violet
Sometimes the unknown is beautiful. In 2000 February near Lake Tahoe, Nevada, two amateur photographers noticed an unusual red column of light rise mysteriously from a setting sun. During the next few minutes, they were able to capture the pillar and a photogenic sunset on film.
In the Center of Spiral Galaxy M83
What's happening at the center of spiral galaxy M83? Just about everything, from the looks of it. M83, visible in the inset image on the upper left, is one of the closest spiral galaxies to our own Milky Way Galaxy and from a distance of 15 million light-years, appears to be relatively normal.
Aurora Over Winnipeg
What's happening above that city? The city is Winnipeg, Canada, and the phenomenon is aurora. These past few months have been active ones for our Sun, producing several coronal mass ejections (CMEs) of particles that have swept past our Earth and caused many spectacular auroras.
Leonids from Leo
Is Leo leaking? Leo, the famous sky constellation visible on the left of the above all-sky photograph, appears to be the source of all the meteors seen in 1998's Leonids Meteor Shower. That...
Bright Stars, Dim Galaxy
These two clusters of bright, newly formed stars surrounded by a glowing nebula lie 10 million light-years away in the dim, irregular galaxy cataloged as NGC 2366. The Hubble Space Telescope image shows that...
THEMIS of Mars
Not an ancient Greek goddess, THEMIS is modern acronese for THermal EMission Imaging System. Above is this remarkable instrument's premier infrared image of Mars, from the newly orbiting Mars Odyssey spacecraft. Taken...