Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Venus Once Molten Surface
If you could look at Venus with radar eyes - this is what you might see. This computer reconstruction of the surface of Venus was created from data from the Magellan spacecraft. Magellan orbited Venus and used radar to map our neighboring planet's surface between 1990 and 1994.
Lunokhod: Moon Robot
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...
Invader From Earth
These technicians are working on the solar-paneled Mars Polar Lander - yet another robotic spacecraft scheduled to invade the red planet. Mars Polar Lander is part of a series of missions focusing on a search for evidence of past or present life.
Except for the Rings of Saturn, The Ring Nebula (M57) is probably the most famous celestial band. This planetary nebula's simple, graceful appearance is thought to be due to perspective -- our view from planet Earth looking straight into what is actually a barrel-shaped cloud of gas shrugged off by a dying central star.
M6: The Butterfly Cluster
To some, the outline of the open cluster of stars M6 resembles a butterfly. M6, also known as NGC 6405, spans about 20 light-years and lies about 2,000 light years distant.
A New Jupiter Oval Rotates
Even Jupiter can do the twist. Large cloud systems on Jupiter rotate, and the newly formed oval pictured above is no different. This new oval formed earlier this year from the collision of two smaller ovals: an occurrence not unlike two large storms merging into one huge hurricane.
Ring Around the Cluster
It is difficult to hide a galaxy behind a cluster of galaxies. The closer cluster's gravity will act like a huge lens, pulling images of the distant galaxy around the sides and greatly distorting them. This is just the case observed in the above recently released image from the VLT.
Orion's Horsehead Nebula
The Horsehead Nebula is one of the most famous nebulae on the sky. It is visible as the black indentation to the red emission nebula seen just to the right of center of the above photograph. The bright star near the center is located in the belt of the familiar constellation of Orion.
Mercury: A Cratered Inferno
Mercury's surface looks similar to our Moon's. Each is heavily cratered and made of rock. Mercury's diameter is about 4800 km, while the Moon's is slightly less at about 3500 km (compared with about 12,700 km for the Earth). But Mercury is unique in many ways.
ESO202-G23: Merging Galaxies