Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Messier 81
One of the brightest galaxies in planet Earth's sky is similar in size to our Milky Way Galaxy: big, beautiful Messier 81. Also known as NGC 3031 or Bode's galaxy for its 18th century discoverer, this grand spiral can be found toward the northern constellation of Ursa Major, the Great Bear.
Zodiacal Light and Mars
Just after sunset on March 7, a faint band of light still reaches above the western horizon in this serene, rural Illinois, night skyscape. Taken from an old farmstead, the luminous glow is zodiacal light, prominent in the west after sunset during planet Earth's northern hemisphere spring.
NGC 1499: The California Nebula
Could Queen Calafia's mythical island exist in space? Perhaps not, but by chance the outline of this molecular space cloud echoes the outline of the state of California, USA. Our Sun has its home within the Milky Way's Orion Arm, only about 1,000 light-years from the California Nebula.
Perseverance 360: Unusual Rocks and the Search for Life on Mars
Is that a fossil?б Looking through recent images of Mars taken by the new Perseverance rover may seem a bit like treasure hunting, with the possibility of fame coming to the first person...
Three Tails of Comet NEOWISE
What created the unusual red tail in Comet NEOWISE? Sodium. A spectacular sight back in the summer of 2020, Comet NEOWISE, at times, displayed something more than just a surprisingly striated white dust tail and a pleasingly patchy blue ion tail.
Pillars of the Eagle Nebula in Infrared
Newborn stars are forming in the Eagle Nebula. Gravitationally contracting in pillars of dense gas and dust, the intense radiation of these newly-formed bright stars is causing surrounding material to boil away. This image...
Perseverance Takes a Spin
After arriving at Jezero Crater on Mars, Perseverance went for a spin on March 4. This sharp image from the car-sized rover's Navcam shows tracks left by its wheels in the martian soil. In preparation for operations on the surface of the Red Planet, its first drive lasted about 33 minutes.
A Little Like Mars
The surface of this planet looks a little like Mars. It's really planet Earth though. In a digitally stitched little planet projection, the 360 degree mosaic was captured near San Pedro in the Chilean Atacama desert. Telescopes in domes on the horizon are taking advantage of the region's famously dark, clear nights.
Mars in Taurus
You can spot Mars in the evening sky tonight. Now home to the Perseverance rover, the Red Planet is presently wandering through the constellation Taurus, close on the sky to the Seven Sisters or Pleiades star cluster.
Stars over an Erupting Volcano
Mt. Etna has been erupting for hundreds of thousands of years. Located in Sicily, Italy, the volcano produces lava fountains over one kilometer high. Mt. Etna is not only one of the most active...