Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)The Lagoon Nebula is Stars, Gas, and Dust
The majestic Lagoon Nebula is filled with hot gas and the home for many young stars. Spanning 100 light years across while lying only about 5000 light years distant, the Lagoon Nebula is so big and bright that it can be seen without a telescope toward the constellation of the Archer (Sagittarius).
Astronaut Exploring: An Apollo 15 Panorama
What would it be like to explore the Moon? NASA's Apollo missions gave humans just this chance in the late 1960s and early 1970s. In particular, the Apollo 15 mission was dedicated to better understanding the surface of the Moon by exploring mountains, valleys, maria, and highlands.
The Old Moon in the Young Moon s Arms
Tonight the Moon is young again, but this stunning image of a young Moon near the western horizon was taken just after sunset on October 10. On the lunar disk Earthshine, earthlight reflected from the Moon's night side, is embraced by the slim, sunlit crescent just over 2 days old.
Little Planet Lookout
Don't panic. This little planet projection looks confusing, but it's actually just a digitally warped and stitched, nadir centered mosaic of images that covers nearly 360x180 degrees. The images were taken on the night of October 31 from a 30 meter tall hill-top lookout tower near Tatabanya, Hungary, planet Earth.
Mars in the Loop
This composite of images spaced some 5 to 9 days apart, from late April (bottom right) through November 5 (top left), traces the retrograde motion of ruddy-colored Mars through planet Earth's night sky.
NGC 6188: The Dragons of Ara
Dark shapes with bright edges winging their way through dusty NGC 6188 are tens of light-years long. The emission nebula is found near the edge of an otherwise dark large molecular cloud in the southern constellation Ara, about 4,000 light-years away.
NGC 1499: The California Nebula
There's even a California in space. Drifting through the Orion Arm of the spiral Milky Way Galaxy, this cosmic cloud by chance echoes the outline of California on the west coast of the United States.
Flying Saucer Crash Lands in Utah Desert
A flying saucer from outer space crash-landed in the Utah desert after being tracked by radar and chased by helicopters. The year was 2004, and no space aliens were involved. The saucer, pictured here...
A more creative search by a group of amateur astronomers in the Ehime Prefecture of Shikoku Island, Japan has found lunar L-O-V-E. Their secret was an examination of this sharp image of the First Quarter Moon.
Cygnus Shell Supernova Remnant W63
The ghost of a long-dead star, the W63 supernova remnant shines like a faint cosmic smoke-ring along the plane of the Milky Way galaxy toward the northern constellation Cygnus the swan. Its wraithlike appearance is traced against the region's rich complex of interstellar clouds and dust by an eerie blue glow.