Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Possible Planets And Infrared Dust
These near-infrared Hubble images of dust surrounding young stars offer the latest tantalizing evidence for planets beyond our Solar System. At left, the dark gap seen in the dust disk is reminiscent of a similar large gap in Saturn's rings believed to be sculpted by orbiting moons.
Telescope with Lightning
Telescopes are not very useful during lightning storms. Nevertheless, with lightning illuminating a dark landscape, the picturesque dome of the famous Kitt Peak 2.1-meter Telescope makes for a dramatic photograph. A passing car created the red and yellow streaks visible in the foreground.
Kitt Peak National Observatory
At the top of Kitt Peak Mountain near Tucson, Arizona lies one of the world's great collections of telescopes. As pictured, in the dome at the far left lies the 3.5-meter WIYN Telescope, famous recently for tracking distant supernovae.
NGC 1818: A Young Globular Cluster
Globular clusters once ruled the Milky Way. Back in the old days, back when our Galaxy first formed, perhaps thousands of globular clusters roamed our Galaxy. Today, there are perhaps 200 left. Many globular clusters were destroyed over the eons by repeated fateful encounters with each other or the Galactic center.
Spiral Eddies On Planet Earth
Can you identify this wispy stellar nebula? How many light-years from Earth did you say? Resembling a twisting cloud of gas and dust between the stars this swirling form is actually close by - a spiral eddy formed near the North Atlantic Gulf Stream off the East coast of the U. S.
Reflections Of Orion
The Orion Nebula and its surroundings present skygazers with a wondrous jumble of newborn stars, gas, and dust. Emission nebulae - glowing energized clouds of gas, and reflection nebulae - dust clouds shining by reflected starlight, abound at this photogenic cosmic location a mere 1,500 light-years or so away.
Crosby Ramsey Memorial Observatory Refractor
The Massachusetts-based firm of Alvan Clark and Sons became famous for making telescope optics near the end of the last century. Near the end of this century, major astronomical observatories still boast of telescopes...
Sagittarius Star Cloud
Stars come in all different colors. The color of a star indicates its surface temperature, an important property used to assign each star a spectral type. Most stars in the above Sagittarius Star Cloud are orange or red and relatively faint, as our Sun would appear.
The Wind on Mars
Wind erosion has been discovered on Mars. Pictures of regions surrounding the north polar cap show sand dunes covered in frost. In places, however, this frost has been eroded to uncover the dark sand underneath.
The Earth's orbit is not a perfect, sun-centered circle. At aphelion, the most distant point in Earth's orbit, the Sun is 150 million kilometers away and at perihelion, the closest point, Earth approaches the Sun to within about 147 million kilometers. While aphelion occurs in July, perihelion for planet Earth comes in January.