Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)London at Night
Do you recognize this intriguing globular cluster of stars? It's actually the constellation of city lights surrounding London, England, planet Earth, as recorded with a digital camera from the International Space Station. Taken in February 2003, north is toward the top and slightly left in this nighttime view.
Energized Nebula in the LMC
Blossoming in nearby galaxy the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), this gorgeous nebula is energized by radiation and winds from a massive star whose surface temperature approaches 100,000 degrees. The composite color image from...
The Egg Nebula in Polarized Light
Where is the center of the unusual Egg Nebula? Like a baby chick pecking its way out of an egg, the star in the center of the Egg Nebula is casting away shells of gas and dust as it slowly transforms itself into a white dwarf star.
Aurora from Space
What do auroras look like from space? From the ground, auroras dance high above clouds, frequently causing spectacular displays. The International Space Station (ISS) orbits just at the same height as many auroras, though. Therefore, sometimes it flies over them, but also sometimes it flies right through.
NGC 281: Cluster, Clouds, and Globules
NGC 281 is a busy workshop of star formation. Prominent features include a small open cluster of stars, a diffuse red-glowing emission nebula, large lanes of obscuring gas and dust, and dense knots of dust and gas in which stars may still be forming.
Phobos: Doomed Moon of Mars
This moon is doomed. Mars, the red planet named for the Roman god of war, has two tiny moons, Phobos and Deimos, whose names are derived from the Greek for Fear and Panic. These...
The Seasons of Saturn
Since Saturn's axis is tilted as it orbits the Sun, Saturn has seasons, like those of planet Earth ... but Saturn's seasons last for over seven years. So what season is it on Saturn now? Orbiting the equator, the tilt of the rings of Saturn provides quite a graphic seasonal display.
Clusters and Nebulae of the Hexagon
At first, the bright stars of the large asterism known as the (northern) Winter Hexagon might be hard to pick out in this gorgeous deep sky mosaic from December 2002. But placing your cursor...
Jupiter in the Hive
If you can find planet Jupiter in tonight's sky, then you can also find M44, popularly known as the Beehive star cluster. In fact, with a pair of binoculars most casual skygazers should find it easy to zero in on this celestial scene.
V838 Light Echo: The Movie
What caused this outburst of V838 Mon? For reasons unknown, star V838 Mon's outer surface suddenly greatly expanded with the result that it became the brightest star in the entire Milky Way Galaxy. Then, just as suddenly, it faded.