Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Comet Leonard Before Star Cluster M3
Comet Leonard is now visible to the unaided eye -- but just barely. Passing nearest to the Earth today, the comet is best seen this week soon after sunset, toward the west, low on the horizon.
Postcard from the South Pole
From this vantage point about three quarters of a mile from planet Earth's geographic South Pole, the December 4 eclipse of the Sun was seen as a partial eclipse. At maximum eclipse the New Moon blocked 90 percent of the solar disk.
Eclipse on a Polar Day
During polar day, in Arctic and Antarctic summer, the Sun stays above the horizon for periods of 24 hours or more. Recorded on December 4, this fisheye timelapse image tracks the Sun in multiple frames as it completes a circle in the summer sky above Union Glacier, Antarctica.
A Total Eclipse of the Sun
Few were able to stand in the Moon's shadow and watch the December 4 total eclipse of the Sun. Determined by celestial mechanics and not geographical boundaries, the narrow path of totality tracked across planet Earth's relatively inaccessible southernmost continent.
Comet Hale Bopp Over Val Parola Pass
Comet Hale-Bopp, the Great Comet of 1997, became much brighter than any surrounding stars. It was seen even over bright city lights. Away from city lights, however, it put on quite a spectacular show. Here Comet Hale-Bopp was photographed above Val Parola Pass in the Dolomite mountains surrounding Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy.
Ninety Gravitational Wave Spectrograms and Counting
Every time two massive black holes collide, a loud chirping sound is broadcast out into the universe in gravitational waves. Humanity has only had the technology to hear these unusual chirps for the past seven years, but since then we have heard about 90 -- during the first three observing runs.
Space Station Silhouette on the Moon
What's that unusual spot on the Moon? It's the International Space Station. Using precise timing, the Earth-orbiting space platform was photographed in front of a partially lit gibbous Moon last month.
Total Solar Eclipse Below the Bottom of the World
Yesterday there was a total solar eclipse visible only at the end of the Earth. To capture the unusual phenomenon, airplanes took flight below the clouded seascape of Southern Ocean. The featured image shows...
Iridescent by Moonlight
In this snapshot from November 18, the Full Moon was not far from Earth's shadow. In skies over Sicily the brightest lunar phase was eclipsed by passing clouds though. The full moonlight was dimmed and momentarily diffracted by small but similar sized water droplets near the edges of the high thin clouds.
Comet Leonard and the Whale Galaxy
Sweeping through northern predawn skies, on November 24 Comet Leonard (C/2021 A1) was caught between two galaxies in this composite telescopic image. Sporting a greenish coma the comet's dusty tail seems to harpoon the heart of NGC 4631 (top) also known as the Whale Galaxy.