Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Cosmic Latte: The Average Color of the Universe
What color is the universe? More precisely, if the entire sky were smeared out, what color would the final mix be? This whimsical question came up when trying to determine what stars are commonplace in nearby galaxies. The answer, depicted above, is a conditionally perceived shade of beige. In computer parlance: #FFF8E7.
Fox Fur, Unicorn, and Christmas Tree
Clouds of glowing hydrogen gas fill this colorful skyscape in the faint but fanciful constellation Monoceros, the Unicorn. A star forming region cataloged as NGC 2264, the complex jumble of cosmic gas and dust...
Northern Winter Night
Orion always seems to come up sideways on northern winter evenings. Those familiar stars of the constellation of the Hunter are caught above the trees in this colorful night skyscape. Not a star at all but still visible to eye, the Great Nebula of Orion shines below the Hunter's belt stars.
Portrait of NGC 1055
Big, beautiful spiral galaxy NGC 1055 is a dominant member of a small galaxy group a mere 60 million light-years away toward the aquatically intimidating constellation Cetus. Seen edge-on, the island universe spans over 100,000 light-years, a little larger than our own Milky Way galaxy.
Jupiter Meets Saturn: A Red Spotted Great Conjunction
It was time for their close-up. Last week Jupiter and Saturn passed a tenth of a degree from each other in what is known a Great Conjunction. Although the two planets pass each other on the sky every 20 years, this was the closest pass in nearly four centuries.
Trifid Pillars and Jets
Dust pillars are like interstellar mountains. They survive because they are more dense than their surroundings, but they are being slowly eroded away by a hostile environment. Visible in the featured picture...
Solstice: Sunrises Around the Year
Does the Sun always rise in the same direction? No. As the months change, the direction toward the rising Sun changes, too. The featured image shows the direction of sunrise every month during 2019 as seen from near the city of Amman, Jordan.
A Volcanic Great Conjunction
Where can I see the Great Conjunction? Near where the Sun just set. Directionally, this close passing of Jupiter and Saturn will be toward the southwest. Since the planetary pair...
Conjunction after Sunset
How close will Jupiter and Saturn be at their Great Conjunction? Consider this beautiful triple conjunction of Moon, Jupiter and Saturn captured through clouds in the wintry twilight. The telephoto view looks toward the western horizon and the Alborz Mountains in Iran after sunset on December 17.
Diamond in the Sky
When the shadow of the Moon raced across planet Earth's southern hemisphere on December 14, sky watchers along the shadow's dark central path were treated to the only total solar eclipse of 2020. During the New Moon's shadow play this glistening diamond ring was seen for a moment, even in cloudy skies.