Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Sunrise Over Kilimanjaro
Is the Roof of Africa on fire? A group hiking at 6 am near the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro watched the rising sun peak above the clouds and the horizon light up red. Don't worry -- in this case the highest volcano in Africa is not even erupting.
In the Center of the Trapezium
Start with the constellation of Orion. Near Orion's belt is a fuzzy area known as the Great Nebula of Orion or M42. In this nebula is a bright star cluster known as the Trapezium, shown above. New stellar systems are forming there in gigantic globs of gas and dust known as Proplyds.
The Colorful Clouds of Rho Ophiuchi
The many spectacular colors of the Rho Ophiuchi (oh'-fee-yu-kee) clouds highlight the many processes that occur there. The blue regions shine primarily by reflected light. Blue light from the star Rho Ophiuchi and nearby stars reflects more efficiently off this portion of the nebula than red light.
NGC 4565: Galaxy on the Edge
Magnificent spiral galaxy NGC 4565 is viewed edge-on from planet Earth. Also known as the Needle Galaxy for its narrow profile, bright NGC 4565 is a stop on many telescopic tours of the northern sky as it lies in the faint but well-groomed constellation Coma Berenices.
Fire Glow and Star Trails at Sunset Crater
Stars gracefully arc over the glow from a not too distant forest fire in this dramatic time exposure. A recent camping trip with family and friends to Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument, near Flagstaff, Arizona, USA produced the opportunity to record the subtle lighting from Earth and sky.
The Landscape on Comet Tempel 1
This diverse landscape is the surface of comet Temple 1's nucleus as seen by the Deep Impact probe's Impactor Targeting Sensor. Within minutes of recording the rugged view, the landscape had changed dramatically though, as the impactor smashed into the surface near the two large, half kilometer-sized craters at picture center.
Thirteen Seconds After Impact
Fireworks came early on July 4th when, at 1:52am EDT, the Deep Impact spacecraft's probe smashed into the surface of Comet Tempel 1's nucleus at ten kilometers per second. The well-targeted impactor probe was vaporized as it blasted out an expanding cloud of material, seen here 13 seconds after the collision.
A Panorama from Mauna Kea
Typically, views from Mauna Kea are up and dark. That's because the famous dormant volcano in Hawaii is arguably Earth's premier observing platform of the complex and ever changing night sky. However, this daytime view is across and bright. White snow and white clouds seem to blend together to make an alien landscape.
A Swift Look at Tempel 1
Comet Tempel 1 is targeted for a collision with the impactor probe from NASA's Deep Impact Spacecraft at about 1:52am EDT on July 4th (other time zones). Cameras on the impactor probe...
Three Planets by the Sea
On Tuesday, June 28th, the setting Sun flooded the horizon with a beautiful warm light in this view from the beach beside the pier at Brighton in Adelaide, South Australia. The Sun also illuminated three planets gathered in the western sky, Mercury, Venus, and Saturn.