Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)X Ray Mystery in RCW 38
A mere 6,000 light-years distant and sailing through the constellation Vela, star cluster RCW 38 is full of powerful stars. It's no surprise that these stars, only a million years young with hot outer atmospheres, appear as point-like x-ray sources dotting this x-ray image from the orbiting Chandra Observatory.
S is for Venus
Planet Venus traced out this S shape in Earth's sky during 2004. Following the second planet from the Sun in a series of 29 images recorded from April 3rd through August...
UKIRT: Aloha Orion
At the edge of a dense molecular cloud, filaments of gas, cosmic dust, and a multitude of young stars beckon in this penetrating image of the Orion Nebula. Alluring structures in the well-known star...
Comet Machholz in View
Good views of Comet Machholz are in store for northern hemisphere comet watchers in January. Now making its closest approach to planet Earth, the comet will pass near the lovely Pleiades star cluster on January 7th and the double star cluster in Perseus on January 27th as Machholz moves relatively quickly through the evening sky.
Milky Way Illustrated
What does our Milky Way Galaxy look like from afar? Since we are stuck inside, and since opaque dust truncates our view in visible light, nobody knows for sure. Drawn above, however, is a good guess based on many different types of observations.
The Pleiades Star Cluster
Perhaps the most famous star cluster on the sky, the Pleiades can be seen without binoculars from even the depths of a light-polluted city. Also known as the Seven Sisters and M45, the Pleiades is one of the brightest and closest open clusters.
Welcome to Planet Earth
Welcome to Planet Earth, the third planet from a star named the Sun. The Earth is shaped like a sphere and composed mostly of rock. Over 70 percent of the Earth's surface is water. The planet has a relatively thin atmosphere composed mostly of nitrogen and oxygen.
Manicouagan Impact Crater
Manicouagan Crater in northern Canada is one of the oldest impact craters known. Formed about 200 million years ago, the present day terrain supports a 70-kilometer diameter hydroelectric reservoir in the telltale form of an annular lake. The crater itself has been worn away by the passing of glaciers and other erosional processes.
A Year of Mars Roving
Landing on Mars in January, NASA's twin rovers Spirit and Opportunity have now each spent over 330 sols roving the martian surface. Still healthy and well in to extended missions, the golfcart sized robots have operated five times longer than planned.
M81 and M82: GALEX Full Field
Intriguing galaxy pair M81 and M82 shine in this full-field view from the orbiting GALEX observatory. GALEX - the Galaxy Evolution Explorer - scans the cosmos in ultraviolet light, a view that follows star formation and galaxy evolution through the Universe.