Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Analemma Over the Porch of Maidens
If you took a picture of the Sun at the same time each day, would it remain in the same position? The answer is no, and the shape traced out by the Sun over the course of a year is called an analemma.
Solstice at Newgrange
Tomorrow's solstice marks the southernmost point of the Sun's annual motion through planet Earth's sky and the astronomical beginning of winter in the north. In celebration of the northern winter solstice...
The Large Cloud of Magellan
The 16th century Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan and his crew had plenty of time to study the southern sky during the first circumnavigation of planet Earth. As a result, two fuzzy cloud-like objects easily...
Y Canum Venaticorum (Y CVn) is a very rare star in planet Earth's night sky. It's also very red, exhibiting such a remarkable spectrum of light, 19th century astronomer Angelo Secchi dubbed it La Superba.
These two nebulae are cataloged as M27 (left) and M76, popularly known as The Dumbbell and the Little Dumbbell. Not intended to indicate substandard mental prowess, their popular names refer to their similar, dumbbell or hourglass shapes.
Orion Dawn Over Mount Nemrut
What's that in front of Orion? Forty kilometers north of Kahta, Turkey, lies Mount Nemrut, a mountain adorned with the fragments of vast statues built over 2000 years ago. The stone sculptures once...
A Sun Pillar Over North Carolina
Have you ever seen a sun pillar? When the air is cold and the Sun is rising or setting, falling ice crystals can reflect sunlight and create an unusual column of light. Ice sometimes forms flat, six-sided shaped crystals as it falls from high-level clouds.
Zodiacal Light Over New Mexico
An unusual triangle of light is visible this time of year just before dawn. Once considered a false dawn, this triangle of light is actually Zodiacal Light, light reflected from interplanetary dust particles. The triangle is clearly visible in the above image taken from New Mexico, USA, in October.
The 60 inch Reflector
On the night of December 13, 1908, 100 years ago today, the 60-inch diameter reflecting telescope of Mount Wilson Observatory was first tested on the stars. It became the first successful large reflecting telescope.
Lick Observatory Moonrise
As viewed from a well chosen location at sunset, October's gorgeous Full Moon rose behind Mount Hamilton, east of San Jose, California. Captured in this lovely telescopic view, historic Lick Observatory is perched on the mountain's 4,200 foot summit, observatory and rising Moon momentarily sharing the warm color of filtered sunlight.