Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Flashes of the Crab Pulsar
It somehow survived an explosion that would surely have destroyed our Sun. Now it is spins 30 times a second and is famous for the its rapid flashes. It is the Crab Pulsar, the rotating neutron star remnant of the supernova that created the Crab Nebula.
WR32 and Interstellar Clouds in Carina
Stars can be like artists. With interstellar gas as a canvas, a massive and tumultuous Wolf-Rayet star has created the picturesque ruffled half-circular filaments called WR32, on the image left. Additionally, the winds...
Blue Straggler Stars in Globular Cluster M53
If our Sun were part of this star cluster, the night sky would glow like a jewel box of bright stars. This cluster, known as M53 and cataloged as NGC 5024, is one of about 250 globular clusters that survive in our Galaxy.
A Northern Winter Night
Snow blankets the ground in this serene forest and sky view. Assembled in a 360 degree panoramic projection, the mosaicked frames were captured at January's end along a quiet country road near Siemiony, northeastern Poland, planet Earth.
Apollo 14 Heads for Home
Fifty years ago this Sunday (February 7, 1971), the crew of Apollo 14 left lunar orbit and headed for home. They watched this Earthrise from their command module Kittyhawk. With Earth's sunlit crescent just peeking over the lunar horizon, the cratered terrain in the foreground is along the lunar farside.
Apollo 14: A View from Antares
Fifty years ago this Friday, Apollo 14's Lunar Module Antares landed on the Moon. Toward the end of the stay astronaut Ed Mitchell snapped a series of photos of the lunar surface while looking out a window, assembled into this detailed mosaic by Apollo Lunar Surface Journal editor Eric Jones.
Found on the Moon: Candidate for Oldest Known Earth Rock
Was the oldest known rock on Earth found on the Moon? Quite possibly. The story opens with the Apollo 14 lunar mission. Lunar sample 14321, a large rock found in Cone crater by astronaut...
A Colorful Quadrantid Meteor
Meteors can be colorful. While the human eye usually cannot discern many colors, cameras often can. Pictured is a Quadrantids meteor captured by camera over Missouri, USA, early this month that was not only impressively bright, but colorful. The radiant grit, likely cast off by asteroid 2003 EH1, blazed a path across Earth's atmosphere.
Lunar Halo over Snowy Trees
Have you ever seen a halo around the Moon? This fairly common sight occurs when high thin clouds containing millions of tiny ice crystals cover much of the sky. Each ice crystal acts like a miniature lens.
Asteroids in the Distance
Rocks from space hit Earth every day. The larger the rock, though, the less often Earth is struck. Many kilograms of space dust pitter to Earth daily. Larger bits appear initially as a bright meteor. Baseball-sized rocks and ice-balls streak through our atmosphere daily, most evaporating quickly to nothing.