Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)The Cygnus Wall of Star Formation
The North America Nebula in the sky can do what North Americans on Earth cannot -- form stars. Specifically, in analogy to the Earth-confined continent, the bright part that appears as Central America and Mexico is actually a hot bed of gas, dust, and newly formed stars known as the Cygnus Wall.
Sunset Over Gusev Crater
What would it be like to see a sunset on Mars? To help find out, the robotic rover Spirit was deployed last month to park and serenely watch the Sun dip below the distant lip of Gusev crater. It was a tough job, but some robot had to do it.
Sometimes it's night on the ground but day in the air. As the Earth rotates to eclipse the Sun, sunset rises up from the ground. Therefore, at sunset on the ground, sunlight still shines on clouds above.
Visitors Galaxy Gallery
A tantalizing assortment of island universes is assembled here. From top left to bottom right are the lovely but distant galaxies M61, NGC 4449, NGC 4725, NGC 5068, NGC 5247, and NGC 5775/5774. Most are spiral galaxies more or less like our own Milky Way.
The Small Cloud of Magellan
Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan and his crew had plenty of time to study the southern sky during the first circumnavigation of planet Earth. As a result, two celestial wonders easily visible for southern hemisphere skygazers are known as the Clouds of Magellan.
APOD Is Ten Years Old Today
Welcome to the eleventh year of Astronomy Picture of the Day! In a decade of editing the APOD web pages, the industrious Robert Nemiroff (left) and persistent Jerry Bonnell (right) have enjoyed exploring compelling...
Cassiopeia A Light Echoes in Infrared
Why is the image of Cassiopeia A changing? Two images of the nearby supernova remnant taken a year apart in infrared light appear to show outward motions at tremendous speeds. This was unexpected since the supernova that created the picturesque nebula was seen 325 years ago. The reason is likely light echoes.
Gliese 876 System Includes Large Terrestrial Planet
Is our Earth unique? In continuing efforts to answer this question, astronomers have now discovered an Earth-like planet orbiting a distant normal star. Previously over 150 gas-giant planets like Jupiter had been so discovered.
Tornado and Rainbow Over Kansas
The scene might have been considered serene if it weren't for the tornado. Last June in Kansas, storm chaser Eric Nguyen photographed this budding twister in a different light -- the light of a rainbow. Pictured above, a white tornado cloud descends from a dark storm cloud.
M2 9: Wings of a Butterfly Nebula
Are stars better appreciated for their art after they die? Actually, stars usually create their most artistic displays as they die. In the case of low-mass stars like our Sun and M2-9 pictured above, the stars transform themselves from normal stars to white dwarfs by casting off their outer gaseous envelopes.