Astronomy Picture of the Day

Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)

Радужное северное сияние над исландским водопадом APOD: 2023 December 27 Б Rainbow Aurora over Icelandic Waterfall

Yes, but can your aurora do this? First, yes, auroras can look like rainbows even though they are completely different phenomena. Auroras are caused by Sun-created particles being channeled into Earth's atmosphere by Earth's magnetic field, and create colors by exciting atoms at different heights.

IC 443: туманность Медуза APOD: 2023 December 26 Б IC 443: The Jellyfish Nebula

Why is this jellyfish swimming in a sea of stars? Drifting near bright star Eta Geminorum, seen at the right, the Jellyfish Nebula extends its tentacles from the bright arcing ridge of emission left of center.

Собор, гора, Луна APOD: 2023 December 25 Б Cathedral, Mountain, Moon

Single shots like this require planning. The first step is to realize that such an amazing triple-alignment actually takes place. The second step is to find the best location to photograph it. But it was the third step: being there at exactly the right time -- and when the sky was clear -- that was the hardest.

NGC 2440: кокон нового белого карлика APOD: 2023 December 24 Б NGC 2440: Cocoon of a New White Dwarf

What's that in the center? Like a butterfly, a white dwarf star begins its life by casting off a cocoon of gas that enclosed its former self. In this analogy, however, the Sun would be a caterpillar and the ejected shell of gas would become the prettiest cocoon of all.

Летняя ночь в декабре A December Summer Night

Colours of a serene evening sky are captured in this 8 minute exposure, made near this December's solstice from New Zealand, southern hemisphere, planet Earth. Looking south, star trails form the short concentric arcs around the rotating planet's south celestial pole positioned just off the top of the frame.

183 дня под Солнцем 183 Days in the Sun

A single 183 day exposure with a pinhole camera and photographic paper resulted in this long-duration solargraph. Recorded from solstice to solstice, June 21 to December 21, in 2022, it follows the Sun's daily arcing path through planet Earth's skies from Mertola, Portugal.

Ледяные гало над Баварией APOD: 2023 December 20 Б Ice Halos over Bavaria

What's causing those unusual sky arcs? Ice crystals. While crossing a field of fresh snow near Fцssen, Bavaria, Germany, earlier this month, the photographer noticed that he had entered an ice fog.

NGC 1499:  туманность Калифорния APOD: 2023 December 19 Б NGC 1499: The California Nebula

Could Queen Calafia's mythical island exist in space? Perhaps not, but by chance the outline of this molecular space cloud echoes the outline of the state of California, USA. Our Sun has its home within the Milky Way's Orion Arm, only about 1,000 light-years from the California Nebula.

Иллюзия одинаковых цветов APOD: 2023 December 18 Б The Same Color Illusion

Are squares A and B the same color? They are! To verify this, either run your cursor over the image or click here to see them connected. The featured illusion, an example...

Геминиды над китайским озером Нианху APOD: 2023 December 17 Б Geminids over Chinas Nianhu Lake

Where are all of these meteors coming from? In terms of direction on the sky, the pointed answer is the constellation of Gemini. That is why the major meteor shower in December is known as the Geminids -- because shower meteors all appear to come from a radiant toward Gemini.

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