Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)APOD: 2023 September 3 Б Comet Schwassmann Wachmann 3 Fragments
Periodic comet 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3 has broken up at least twice. A cosmic souffle of ice and dust left over from the early solar system, this comet was first seen to split into several large pieces during the close-in part of its orbit in 1995.
NGC 7023: The Iris Nebula
These cosmic clouds have blossomed 1,300 light-years away in the fertile starfields of the constellation Cepheus. Called the Iris Nebula, NGC 7023 is not the only nebula to evoke the imagery of flowers.
The Great Globular Cluster in Hercules
In 1716, English astronomer Edmond Halley noted, "This is but a little Patch, but it shows itself to the naked Eye, when the Sky is serene and the Moon absent." Of course...
The Crew 7 Nebula
Not the James Webb Space Telescope's latest view of a distant galactic nebula, this illuminated cloud of gas and dust dazzled early morning spacecoast skygazers on August 26. The snapshot was taken about...
Full Moons of August
Near perigee, the closest point in its almost moonthly orbit, a Full Moon rose as the Sun set on August 1. Its brighter than average lunar disk was captured in this dramatic moonrise sequence over dense cloud banks along the eastern horizon from Ragusa, Sicily.
APOD: 2023 August 29 Б Unusual Spiral Galaxy M66 from Webb
Why isn't spiral galaxy M66 symmetric? Usually, density waves of gas, dust, and newly formed stars circle a spiral galaxy's center and create a nearly symmetric galaxy. The differences between...
APOD: 2023 August 28 Б Star Formation in the Pacman Nebula
Look through the cosmic cloud cataloged as NGC 281 and you might miss the stars of open cluster IC 1590. Formed within the nebula, that cluster's young, massive stars ultimately power the pervasive nebular glow.
APOD: 2023 August 27 Б Three Galaxies and a Comet
Diffuse starlight and dark nebulae along the southern Milky Way arc over the horizon and sprawl diagonally through this gorgeous nightscape. The breath-taking mosaic spans a wide 100 degrees, with the rugged terrain of the Patagonia, Argentina region in the foreground.
Crescents of Venus
Just as the Moon goes through phases, Venus' visible sunlit hemisphere waxes and wanes. This sequence of telescopic images illustrates the steady changes for Venus during its recent 2023 apparition as our evening star. Gliding along its interior orbit between Earth and Sun, Venus grows larger during that period because it is approaching planet Earth.
A Season of Saturn
Ringed planet Saturn will be at its 2023 opposition, opposite the Sun in Earth's skies, on August 27. While that puts the sixth planet from the Sun at its brightest and well-placed for viewing, its beautiful ring system isn't visible to the unaided eye.