Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Saturn from Below
Swooping below Saturn, the Cassini spacecraft spied several strange wonders. Visible in the distance are some of the many complex rings that orbit the Solar System's second largest planet. In the foreground looms the gigantic world itself, covered with white dots that are clouds high in Saturn's thick atmosphere.
Aurora Over Alaska
Higher than the highest mountain, higher than the highest airplane, lies the realm of the aurora. Aurora rarely reach below 60 kilometers, and can range up to 1000 kilometers. Aurora light results from solar shockwave causing energetic electrons and protons to striking molecules in the Earth's atmosphere.
The View from Everest
What would it be like to stand atop the tallest mountain on Earth? To see a full panoramic vista from there, scroll right. Visible are snow peaked mountains near and far, tremendous cliffs, distant plateaus, the tops of clouds, and a dark blue sky. Mt.
Three Years of Saturn
Using an image recorded just last month as a base, this composite illustration tracks the motion of bright Saturn as it wanders through planet Earth's night sky. Starting at the upper right, Saturn's position is shown about every two weeks beginning in August 2005 and projected through September 2008.
Four Years of Saturn
Saturn and its magnificent ring system can offer even casual astronomers the most memorable of telescopic sights. Wandering between Leo and Cancer this month, a bright Saturn is well placed for viewing in evening skies. But from our earthbound perspective, the tilt of Saturn's rings does change with time.
Asteroid and Galaxy
Apollo class asteroid 2006 VV2 flashed past planet Earth in late March, approaching to within 3.4 million kilometers or about 8.8 times the Earth-Moon distance. Due to the proximity of its orbit to Earth and its estimated diameter of over 1 kilometer, 2006 VV2 is classified as a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid.
New Horizons at Io
Spewed from a volcano, a complex plume rises over 300 kilometers above the horizon of Jupiter's moon Io in this image from cameras onboard the New Horizons spacecraft. The volcano, Tvashtar, is marked by the bright glow (about 1 o'clock) at the moon's edge, beyond the terminator or night/day shadow line.
A Mysterious Hexagonal Cloud System on Saturn
Why would clouds form a hexagon on Saturn? Nobody is yet sure. Originally discovered during the Voyager flybys of Saturn in the 1980s, nobody has ever seen anything like it anywhere else in the Solar System.
An Active Sunspot Viewed Sideways
Why are there dark spots on the sun? Although noted for thousands of years, sunspots have been known for decades to be regions of the Sun that are slightly depressed and cooled by the Sun's complex and changing magnetic field.
APOD: 2007 April 1- Americans Defeat Russians in First Space Quidditch Match
A historic first Space Quidditch match came to a spectacular conclusion last night as astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria caught the Golden Snitch to give the Americans a hard fought victory over the Russians. "The Russians...