Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)The East 96th Street Moon
A very full Moon rose over Manhattan's Upper Eastside on June 28, known to some as the Strawberry Moon. Near the horizon, the warm yellow lunar disk was a bit ruffled and dimmed by a long sight-line through dense, hazy atmosphere.
Messier 24: Sagittarius Star Cloud
Unlike most entries in Charles Messier's famous catalog of deep sky objects, M24 is not a bright galaxy, star cluster, or nebula. It's a gap in nearby, obscuring intertellar dust clouds that allows a view of the distant stars in the Sagittarius spiral arm of our Milky Way galaxy.
Sigma Octantis and Friends
South pole star Sigma Octantis (of the constellation Octans) is on the left of this starry expanse spanning over 40 degrees across far southern skies. You'll have to look hard to find it, though.
Highlights of the Summer Sky
What can you see in the night sky this summer? The featured graphic gives a few highlights for Earth's northern hemisphere. Viewed as a clock face centered at the bottom, early (northern) summer sky events fan out toward the left, while late summer events are projected toward the right.
Dark Nebulas across Taurus
Sometimes even the dark dust of interstellar space has a serene beauty. One such place occurs toward the constellation of Taurus. The filaments featured here can be found on the sky between the Pleiades star cluster and the California Nebula.
Hayabusa2 Approaches Asteroid Ryugu
It looks like a big space diamond -- but with craters. It's 162173 Ryugu (Dragon's Castle), and Japan's robotic Hayabusa2 mission is now arriving at this near-Earth asteroid. Ambitious Hayabusa2 is carrying...
Rocket Plume Shadow Points to the Moon
Why would the shadow of a space shuttle launch plume point toward the Moon? In early 2001 during a launch of Atlantis, the Sun, Earth, Moon, and rocket were all properly aligned for this photogenic coincidence.
Curiosity s Dusty Self
Winds on Mars can't actually blow spacecraft over. But in the low gravity, martian winds can loft fine dust particles in planet-wide storms, like the dust storm now raging on the Red Planet.
Galaxy in a Crystal Ball
A small crystal ball seems to hold a whole galaxy in this creative snapshot. Of course, the galaxy is our own Milky Way. Its luminous central bulge marked by rifts of interstellar dust spans thousands of light-years. On this long southern hemisphere night it filled dark Chilean skies over Paranal Observatory.
Northern Lights and Noctilucent Clouds
Skies after the near-solstice sunset on June 17 are reflected in this calm lake. The tranquil twilight scene was captured near Bashaw, Alberta, Canada, northern planet Earth. Usually spotted at high latitudes in summer months, night shining or noctilucent clouds hang just above the horizon, transfusing light into a darker sky.