Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)APOD: 2023 March 5 Б Jupiter and Venus over Italy
What are those two bright spots? Planets. A few days ago, the two brightest planets in the night sky passed within a single degree of each other in what is termed a conjunction. Visible just after sunset in much of the world, the two bright spots were Jupiter (left) and Venus (right).
10 Days of Venus and Jupiter
Venus and Jupiter may have caught your attention lately. The impending close conjunction of the two brightest planets visible in clear evening skies has been hard to miss. With Jupiter at the top, starting...
RCW 86: Historical Supernova Remnant
In 185 AD, Chinese astronomers recorded the appearance of a new star in the Nanmen asterism. That part of the sky is identified with Alpha and Beta Centauri on modern star charts. The new star was visible to the naked-eye for months, and is now thought to be the earliest recorded supernova.
Unraveling NGC 3169
Spiral galaxy NGC 3169 looks to be unraveling like a ball of cosmic yarn. It lies some 70 million light-years away, south of bright star Regulus toward the faint constellation Sextans. Wound up spiral arms are pulled out into sweeping tidal tails as NGC 3169 (left) and neighboring NGC 3166 interact gravitationally.
APOD: 2023 March 1 Б The Flaming Star Nebula
Is star AE Aurigae on fire? No. Even though AE Aurigae is named the Flaming Star and the surrounding nebula IC 405 is named the Flaming Star Nebula, and even though the nebula appears to some like a swirling flame, there is no fire.
APOD: 2023 February 28 Б Crescent Moon Beyond Greek Temple
Why is a thin crescent moon never seen far from a horizon? Because the only geometry that gives a thin crescent lunar phase occurs when the Moon appears close to the Sun in the sky.
APOD: 2023 February 27 Б Zodiacal Ray with Venus and Jupiter
What's causing that unusual ray of light extending from the horizon? Dust orbiting the Sun. At certain times of the year, a band of sun-reflecting dust from the inner Solar System appears prominently after sunset or before sunrise and is called zodiacal light.
APOD: 2023 February 26 Б Saturns Iapetus: Moon with a Strange Surface
What would make a moon look like a walnut? A strange ridge that circles Saturn's moon Iapetus's equator, visible near the bottom of the featured image, makes it appear similar to a popular edible nut.
Crescent Moon Occultation
On February 22, a young Moon shared the western sky at sunset with bright planets Venus and Jupiter along the ecliptic plane. The beautiful celestial conjunction was visible around planet Earth. But from some locations Jupiter hid for a while, occulted by the crescent lunar disk.
Jones Emberson 1
Planetary nebula Jones-Emberson 1 is the death shroud of a dying Sun-like star. It lies some 1,600 light-years from Earth toward the sharp-eyed constellation Lynx. About 4 light-years across, the expanding remnant...