Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Big Dipper Castle
The stars of the big dipper, a well known asterism in the constellation Ursa Major, are easy to recognize in this dramatic skyscape. In fact, northern hemisphere skygazers often follow along the line indicated by the two stars at the far right.
Melas, Candor, and Ophir: Valleys of Mariner
First imaged by the Mariner 9 spacecraft, Valles Marineris, the grand canyon of Mars, is a system of enormous depressions or chasmas that stretch some 4,000 kilometers along the Martian equator. Looking north over the canyon's central regions, dark Melas Chasma lies in the foreground of this spectacular perspective view.
Sunspot Metamorphosis: From Bottom to Top
Sunspots -- magnets the size of the Earth -- are normally seen flat on the Sun. The above digital metamorphosis, however, shows a sunspot as it appears at increasing heights, effectively in three dimensions. The above...
Saturns Moon Rhea from Cassini
Each moon of Saturn seems to come with its own mystery. Rhea, Saturn's second largest moon behind Titan, shows unusual wisps, visible above as light colored streaks. Higher resolution images of the wisps show them to be made of long braided fractures.
The Rosette Nebula
Would the Rosette Nebula by any other name look as sweet? The bland New General Catalog designation of NGC 2237 doesn't appear to diminish the appearance of the this flowery emission nebula. Inside the nebula lies an open cluster of bright young stars designated NGC 2244.
In the Center of the Virgo Cluster
The Virgo Cluster of Galaxies is the closest cluster of galaxies to our Milky Way Galaxy. The Virgo Cluster is so close that it spans more than 5 degrees on the sky - about 10 times the angle made by a full Moon.
NEAR at Eros: Before Touchdown
On 12 February, 2001, the NEAR-Shoemaker spacecraft gently touched-down on the the surface of Eros -- the first ever landing on an asteroid. During the descent, the spacecraft's camera recorded successive images of the diminutive world's surface, revealing fractured boulders, dust filled craters, and a mysterious collapsed channel.
Serene blue hues highlight this view of Saturn's northern hemisphere from the Cassini spacecraft. The image has been adjusted to approximate the natural blue color of visible sunlight scattered by the gas giant's upper atmosphere.
This strange, false-color image of otherwise familiar planet Saturn shows temperature changes based on thermal infrared emission in the gas giant's atmosphere and rings. Recorded from the Keck I telescope on Mauna Kea, the sharp, ground-based picture of Saturn's southern hemisphere is a mosaic of 35 images.
Heat Shield Impact Crater on Mars
Broken metal and scorched Mars make the impact site of Opportunity's heat shield one of the more interesting sites inspected by the rolling robot. Visible on the image left is the conical outer hull of the shattered heat shield expelled by Opportunity as it plummeted toward Mars last year.