Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Big Sky Comet
On April 17th, "Big Sky" country sure lived up to its name. The dark skies over the US states of Wyoming, Montana and the Dakotas were quite busy, as shown by this photograph featuring Comet Hale-Bopp. In the foreground is the Absaroka Mountain Range in Wyoming, lit by reflected moonlight.
Moon Robot: Lunokhod 1
On November 17, 1970 the Soviet Luna 17 spacecraft landed the first roving remote-controlled robot on the Moon. Known as Lunokhod 1, it weighed just under 2,000 pounds and was designed to operate for 90 days guided by a 5-person team at the Deep Space Center near Moscow, USSR, Planet Earth.
Spiral Galaxy M83
The long winding arms of this nearby spiral galaxy define it as the "Southern Pinwheel." But M83 is quite a typical spiral - much like our own Milky Way Galaxy. Spiral galaxies contains many billions of stars, the youngest of which inhabit the spiral arms and glow strongly in blue light.
Solar Storm Causes X-Ray Aurora
On April 7, the SOHO spacecraft spotted a Solar Storm ejecting a cloud of energetic particles toward planet Earth. The plasma cloud's center missed Earth, but high energy particles swept up by Earth's magnetosphere still created a geomagnetic storm!
Pwyll: Icy Crater of Europa
The impact crater Pwyll (a name from Celtic Mythology) is thought to represent one of the youngest features on the surface of Jupiter's moon Europa. A combination of color and high resolution black...
A Star Cluster Through Hale-Bopp's Tail
Comet Hale-Bopp continues to look impressive. The photograph above captured the comet on April 7th passing nearly in front of M34, a star cluster in the constellation of Perseus. Many of the stars in this open cluster can be seen through Comet Hale-Bopp's white dust tail.
Hale-Bopp and the Plateau de Bure Interferometer
Comet Hale-Bopp is being observed by many different telescopes. Here the comet is pictured behind the array of radio telescopes which compose the Plateau de Bure Interferometer. These telescopes are being used to detect the presence of different molecules in the coma and tail of Comet Hale-Bopp.
Comet Hale-Bopp is spinning. The nucleus of the comet is a dirty snowball about 25 miles in diameter that spins about once every 12 hours. As Comet Hale-Bopp spins, parts of the comet's surface shoot away in jets.
Jets from SS433
SS433 is one of the most exotic star systems known. Its unremarkable name stems from its inclusion in a catalog of stars which emit radiation characteristic of atomic hydrogen. Its very remarkable behavior stems from a compact object, a black hole or neutron star, which has produced an accretion disk with jets.
Arecibo: The Largest Telescope
The Arecibo radio telescope is currently the largest single-dish telescope in the world. First opening in 1963, this 305 meter (1000 foot) radio telescope resides in a natural valley of Puerto Rico. The Arecibo telescope has been used for many astronomical research projects, including