Astronomy Picture of the Day

Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)

Галактики с оболочками в Рыбах Shell Galaxies in Pisces

This colorful cosmic skyscape features a peculiar system of galaxies cataloged as Arp 227 some 100 million light-years distant. Swimming within the boundaries of the constellation Pisces, Arp 227 consists of the two galaxies prominent on the left; the curious shell galaxy NGC 474 and its blue, spiral-armed neighbor NGC 470.

NGC 4449: маленькая галактика крупным планом NGC 4449: Close up of a Small Galaxy

Grand spiral galaxies often seem to get all the glory. Their young, blue star clusters and pink star forming regions along sweeping spiral arms are guaranteed to attract attention. But small irregular galaxies form stars too, like NGC 4449, about 12 million light-years distant.

NGC 1999: к югу от Ориона NGC 1999: South of Orion

South of the large star-forming region known as the Orion Nebula, lies bright blue reflection nebula NGC 1999. Also at the edge of the Orion molecular cloud complex some 1,500 light-years distant, NGC 1999's illumination is provided by the embedded variable star V380 Orionis.

Солнечная система от "Мессенджера" The Solar System from MESSENGER

If you looked out from the center of the Solar System, what would you see? Nearly such a view was taken recently from the MESSENGER spacecraft currently orbiting the Sun from the distance of Mercury. The Sun's planets all appear as points of light, with the closest and largest planets appearing the brightest.

Сравнение размеров звёзд Star Size Comparisons

How big is our Sun compared to other stars? In a dramatic and popular video featured on YouTube, the relative sizes of planets and stars are shown from smallest to largest. The above video starts with Earth's Moon and progresses through increasingly larger planets in our Solar System.

Млечный Путь над Швейцарией Milky Way Over Switzerland

What's visible in the night sky during this time of year? To help illustrate the answer, a beautiful land, cloud, and skyscape was captured earlier this month over NeuchБtel, Switzerland. Visible in the foreground were the snow covered cliffs of the amphitheater shaped Creux du Van, as well as distant trees, and town-lit clouds.

Вымеобразные облака над Олимпийской долиной Mammatus Clouds Over Olympic Valley

What's happened to these clouds? Normal cloud bottoms are flat because moist warm air that rises and cools will condense into water droplets at a very specific temperature, which usually corresponds to a very specific height. After water droplets form that air becomes an opaque cloud.

Спиральная галактика NGC 2841 вблизи Spiral Galaxy NGC 2841 Close Up

A mere 46 million light-years distant, spiral galaxy NGC 2841 can be found in the northern constellation of Ursa Major. This sharp view of the gorgeous island universe shows off a striking yellow nucleus and galactic disk.

Планетарные туманности Planetary Nebula Project

Cast off by dying sunlike stars, planetary nebulae are a brief but glorious final phase of stellar evolution. The gaseous shrouds are ionized by an extremely hot central source, the shrinking core of a star running out of fuel for nuclear fusion.

Вспышка Х-класса X Class Flare

On Valentine's Day (ET) the Sun unleased one of its most powerful explosions, an X-class flare. The blast was the largest so far in the new solar cycle. Erupting from active region AR1158...

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