Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Bow Tie Moon and Star Trails
On January 31, a leisurely lunar eclipse was enjoyed from all over the night side of planet Earth, the first of three consecutive total eclipses of the Moon. This dramatic time-lapse image followed the celestial performance for over three hours in a combined series of exposures from Hebei Province in Northern China.
NGC 7331 Close Up
Big, beautiful spiral galaxy NGC 7331 is often touted as an analog to our own Milky Way. About 50 million light-years distant in the northern constellation Pegasus, NGC 7331 was recognized early on as a spiral nebula and is actually one of the brighter galaxies not included in Charles Messier's famous 18th century catalog.
Galaxy NGC 474: Shells and Star Streams
What's happening to galaxy NGC 474? The multiple layers of emission appear strangely complex and unexpected given the relatively featureless appearance of the elliptical galaxy in less deep images. The cause...
NGC 7635: The Bubble Nebula Expanding
It's the bubble versus the cloud. NGC 7635, the Bubble Nebula, is being pushed out by the stellar wind of massive star BD+602522, visible in blue toward the right, inside the nebula. Next door, though, lives a giant molecular cloud, visible to the far right in red.
Venus and the Triply Ultraviolet Sun
An unusual type of solar eclipse occurred in 2012. Usually it is the Earth's Moon that eclipses the Sun. That year, most unusually, the planet Venus took a turn. Like a solar eclipse by the Moon, the phase of Venus became a continually thinner crescent as Venus became increasingly better aligned with the Sun.
Earthshadow and the Beehive
The Earth's dark umbral shadow is shaped like a cone extending into space. Of course its circular cross section at the distance of the Moon is more easily seen during a lunar eclipse.
This atmospheric picture of a distant horizon looks toward the tall Trisul peaks of India's snowy Himalayan mountains. Taken from a remote location on January 31, brightest star Sirius shines at the upper right. The red Moon rising is gliding through Earth's shadow during the evening's much anticipated total lunar eclipse.
Near the closest point in its orbit, the second Full Moon of the month occurred on January 31. So did the first Total Lunar Eclipse of 2018, as the Moon slid through planet Earth's shadow.
The First Explorer
Sixty years ago, on January 31, 1958, the First Explorer was successfully launched by the Army Ballistic Missile Agency on a Jupiter-C rocket. Inaugurating the era of space exploration for the United States, Explorer...
Venus at Night in Infrared from Akatsuki
Why is Venus so different from Earth? To help find out, Japan launched the robotic Akatsuki spacecraft which entered orbit around Venus late in 2015 after an unplanned five-year adventure around the inner Solar System.