Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Space Station and Space Shuttle: Backyard View
Knowing when and where to look, many enthusiastic sky gazers have been able to spot the International Space Station (ISS) as a bright star streaking through the twilight. But with a digital camera and a small telescope, recognizable images are possible too.
VDB 142 in Cepheus
A gorgeous collection of dust and gas nebulae in the Northern Milky Way graces the high and far off constellation of Cepheus. With colors based on astronomical filters, this close up of the region highlights stars embedded in curiously shaped cosmic clouds.
The Center of Globular Cluster Omega Centauri
What is left over after stars collide? To help answer this question, astronomers have been studying the center of the most massive ball of stars in our Milky Way Galaxy. In the center of globular cluster Omega Centauri, stars are packed in 10,000 times more densely than near our Sun.
The Past of Asteroid Eros
How did large rocks come to be scattered on the surface of asteroid Eros? Eros stands out not only because of its proximity to Earth but also because it was visited recently by NASA's NEAR-Shoemaker spacecraft.
A Yukon Aurora
Last week was another good week for auroras. The story began about two weeks ago when two large Coronal Mass Ejections exploded off the Sun. Waves of elementary particles and ions swept out past the Earth on September 28 and 29, causing many auroras.
Abell 2218: A Galaxy Cluster Lens
Gravity can bend light, allowing huge clusters of galaxies to act as telescopes. Almost all of the bright objects in this released Hubble Space Telescope image are galaxies in the cluster known as Abell 2218.
Hen 1357: New Born Nebula
This Hubble Space Telescope snapshot shows Hen-1357, the youngest known planetary nebula. Graceful, gentle curves and symmetry suggest its popular name - The Stingray Nebula. Observations in the 1970s detected no nebular material, but this image from March 1996 clearly shows the Stingray's emerging bubbles and rings of shocked and ionized gas.
A Flock of Stars
Only a few stars can be found within ten light-years of our lonely Sun, situated near an outer spiral arm of the Milky Way galaxy. But if our Sun were found within a star cluster, thousands of stars might occupy a similar space.
M74: The Perfect Spiral
If not perfect, then this spiral galaxy is at least one of the most photogenic. An island universe of about 100 billion stars, 30 million light-years away toward the constellation Pisces, NGC 628 or M74 presents a gorgeous face-on view to earthbound astronomers.
The Planetary Nebula Show
What do the Owl, the Cat's Eye, the Ghost of Jupiter, and Saturn have in common? They're all planetary nebulae of course(!), glowing gaseous shrouds shed by dying sun-like stars as they run out of nuclear fuel.