Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Aurora Over Cape Cod
Active pillars of colorful aurora were captured dancing over a serenely smooth and nearly colorless Cape Cod Bay last month. North is straight ahead so that the town lights near the center originate from Provincetown, Massachusetts, USA. The unusual red colors in the aurora slightly reflect off the ocean inlet.
Martian Moon Phobos from MGS
Why is Phobos so dark? Phobos, the largest and innermost of two Martian moons, is the darkest moon in the entire Solar System. Its unusual orbit and color indicate that it may be a captured asteroid composed of a mixture of ice and dark rock.
Disappearing Clouds in Carina
This dense cloud of gas and dust is being deleted. Likely, within a few million years, the intense light from bright stars will have boiled it away completely. Stars not yet formed in the molecular cloud's interior will then stop growing.
The Solar Spectrum
It is still not known why the Sun's light is missing some colors. Shown above are all the visible colors of the Sun, produced by passing the Sun's light through a prism-like device.
Messiers and Mars
A telescopic tour of the constellation Sagittarius offers the many bright clusters and nebulae of dimensioned space in a starscape surrounding the galactic center. This gorgeous color deep-sky photograph visits two such lovely sights, cataloged by the 18th century cosmic tourist Charles Messier as M8 and M20.
Slung below its equally innovative mothership dubbed White Knight, SpaceShipOne rides above planet Earth, photographed during a recent flight test. SpaceShipOne was designed and built by cutting-edge aeronautical engineer Burt Rutan and his company Scaled Composites to compete for the X Prize.
On planet Earth, an analemma is the figure-8 loop you get when you mark the position of the Sun at the same time each day throughout the year. But similarly marking the position...
Galaxies in the GOODS
This tantalizing view of galaxies scattered near and far is part of the Hubble Space Telescope's contribution to the GOODS - the Great Observatories Origins Deep Survey project. The GOODS' goal is to study...
The Suns Surface in 3D
How smooth is the Sun? The new Swedish 1-m Solar Telescope, deployed in the Canary Islands only last year, allows imaging of objects less than 100-km across on the Sun's surface. When pointed toward the Sun's edge, surface objects now begin to block each other, indicating true three-dimensional information.
KamLAND Verifies the Sun
A large sphere beneath Japan has helped verify humanity's understanding of the inner workings of the Sun. The KamLAND sphere, shown above during construction in 2001, fails to detect fundamental particles called anti-neutrinos that are known to be emitted by nearby nuclear reactors around Japan.