Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)APOD: 2023 October 31 Б Halloween and the Wizard Nebula
Halloween's origin is ancient and astronomical. Since the fifth century BC, Halloween has been celebrated as a cross-quarter day, a day halfway between an equinox (equal day / equal night) and a solstice (minimum day / maximum night in the northern hemisphere).
APOD: 2023 October 30 Б Reflections of the Ghost Nebula
Do any shapes seem to jump out at you from this interstellar field of stars and dust? The jeweled expanse, filled with faint, starlight-reflecting clouds, drifts through the night in the royal constellation of Cepheus.
APOD: 2023 October 29 Б A Partial Lunar Eclipse
What's happened to the Moon? Within the last day, part of the Moon moved through the Earth's shadow. This happens about once or twice a year, but not every month since the Moon's orbit around the Earth is slightly tilted.
The Ghosts of Gamma Cas
Gamma Cassiopeiae shines high in northern autumn evening skies. It's the brightest spiky star in this telescopic field of view toward the constellation Cassiopeia. Gamma Cas shares the ethereal-looking scene with ghostly interstellar clouds of gas and dust, IC 59 (top left) and IC 63.
Encke and the Tadpoles
History's second known periodic comet is Comet Encke (2P/Encke). As it swings through the inner Solar System, Encke's orbit takes it from an aphelion, its greatest distance from the Sun, inside the orbit of Jupiter to a perihelion just inside the orbit of Mercury.
Orionids in Taurus
History's first known periodic comet, Comet Halley (1P/Halley), returns to the inner Solar System every 76 years or so. The famous comet made its last appearance to the naked-eye in 1986. But dusty...
APOD: 2023 October 25 Б Gone in 60 Seconds: A Green Flash Sunset
In 60 seconds, this setting Sun will turn green. Actually, the top of the Sun already appears not only green, but wavey -- along with all of its edges. The Sun itself is unchanged -- both effects are caused by looking along hot and cold layers in Earth's atmosphere.
APOD: 2023 October 24 Б Arp 87: Merging Galaxies from Hubble
This dance is to the death. As these two large galaxies duel, a cosmic bridge of stars, gas, and dust currently stretches over 75,000 light-years and joins them. The bridge itself is strong evidence that these two immense star systems have passed close to each other and experienced violent tides induced by mutual gravity.
APOD: 2023 October 23 Б Moon Io from Spacecraft Juno
There goes another one! Volcanoes on Jupiter's moon Io keep erupting. To investigate, NASA's robotic Juno spacecraft has begun a series of visits to this very strange moon. Io is about...
APOD: 2023 October 22 Б Ghost Aurora over Canada
What does this aurora look like to you? While braving the cold to watch the skies above northern Canada early one morning in 2013, a most unusual aurora appeared. The aurora definitely appeared to be shaped like something, but what?