Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Martian Chiaroscuro
Deep shadows create dramatic contrasts between light and dark in this high-resolution close-up of the martian surface. Recorded on January 24, 2014 by the HiRISE camera onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, the scene spans about 1.5 kilometers.
Facing NGC 3344
From our vantage point in the Milky Way Galaxy, we see NGC 3344 face-on. Nearly 40,000 light-years across, the big, beautiful spiral galaxy is located just 20 million light-years away in the constellation of Leo Minor. This multi-color Hubble Space Telescope close-up of NGC 3344 includes remarkable details from near infrared to ultraviolet wavelengths.
M22 and the Wanderers
Wandering through the constellation Sagittarius, bright planets Mars and Saturn appeared together in early morning skies over the last weeks. They are captured in this 3 degree wide field-of-view from March 31 in a close celestial triangle with large globular star cluster Messier 22.
Fortuitous Flash Candidate for the Farthest Star Yet Seen
Was this flash the farthest star yet seen? An unexpected flash of light noticed fortuitously on Hubble Space Telescope images may prove to be not only an unusual gravitational lensing event but also an image of a normal star 100 times farther away than any star previously imaged individually.
Dragon Aurora over Norway
What's that in the sky? An aurora. A large coronal hole opened last month, a few days before this image was taken, throwing a cloud of fast moving electrons, protons, and ions toward the Earth.
The Sun Unleashed: Monster Filament in Ultraviolet
One of the most spectacular solar sights is an explosive flare. In 2011 June, the Sun unleashed somewhat impressive, medium-sized solar flare as rotation carried active regions of sunpots toward the solar limb. That...
NGC 6960: The Witchs Broom Nebula
Ten thousand years ago, before the dawn of recorded human history, a new light would have suddenly have appeared in the night sky and faded after a few weeks. Today we know this light was from a supernova, or exploding star, and record the expanding debris cloud as the Veil Nebula, a supernova remnant.
Painting with Jupiter
Brush strokes of Jupiter's signature atmospheric bands and vortices form this planetary post-impressionist work of art. The creative image uses actual data from the Juno spacecraft's JunoCam. To paint on the digital canvas, a image with light and dark tones was chosen for processing and an oil-painting software filter applied.
NGC 3324 in Carina
This bright cosmic cloud was sculpted by stellar winds and radiation from the hot young stars of open cluster NGC 3324. With dust clouds in silhouette against its glowing atomic gas, the pocket-shaped star-forming region actually spans about 35 light-years. It lies some 7,500 light-years away toward the nebula rich southern constellation Carina.
NGC 289: Swirl in the Southern Sky
About 70 million light-years distant, gorgeous spiral galaxy NGC 289 is larger than our own Milky Way. Seen nearly face-on, its bright core and colorful central disk give way to remarkably faint, bluish spiral arms. The extensive arms sweep well over 100 thousand light-years from the galaxy's center.