Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Beautiful Spiral NGC 7331
A favorite target for astronomers, big, beautiful spiral galaxy NGC 7331 is one of the brighter galaxies not found in Charles Messier's famous 18th century catalog. About 50 million light-years distant...
A Dark Pulsar in CTA 1
Where's the pulsar? Previously, the nebula CTA 1 showed an expanding supernova remnant, a jet, and a point source expected to be a pulsar -- a rotating neutron star producing pulses at radio energies. But no radio pulses were detected.
Moons, Rings, and Unexpected Colors on Saturn
Why would Saturn show such strange colors? The robotic Cassini spacecraft currently orbiting Saturn has beamed back images showing that the northern hemisphere our Solar System's most spectacularly ringed planet has changed noticeably since Cassini arrived in 2004, now sporting unusual and unexpected colors. No one is sure why.
In the Center of the Lagoon Nebula
The center of the Lagoon Nebula is a whirlwind of spectacular star formation. Visible on the upper left, at least two long funnel-shaped clouds, each roughly half a light-year long, have been formed by extreme stellar winds and intense energetic starlight. The tremendously bright nearby star, Hershel 36, lights the area.
Cosmic pillars of cold molecular gas and clouds of dark dust lie within Sharpless 171, a star-forming region some 3,000 light-years away in the royal constellation Cepheus. This tantalizing false-color skyscape spans about 20 light-years across the nebula's bright central region.
An Extraordinary Voyage
Nineteenth century science fiction author Jules Verne wrote visionary works about Extraordinary Voyages including tales of space flight and the story of a journey From the Earth to the Moon. Fittingly, the European Space...
48 Years of Space Flight
This year, NASA celebrated its 50th anniversary. Inspired to make his own contribution, astronomer Ralf Vandebergh set out to record images of some historic spacecraft in Earth orbit -- captured with his own modest equipment and a hand-guided, 10-inch, Newtonian reflecting telescope. One result is this intriguing composite effectively spanning 48 years of space flight!
Orion, the Hunter, is one of the most easily recognizable constellations in planet Earth's night sky. But Orion's stars and nebulas don't look quite as colorful to the eye as they...
An Enceladus Tiger Stripe from Cassini
What creates the unusual tiger stripes on Saturn's moon Enceladus? No one is sure. To help find out, scientists programmed the robotic Cassini spacecraft to dive right past the plume-spewing moon last week.
Cassini Passes Through Ice Plumes of Enceladus
What telling impurities taint the ice plumes of Enceladus? To help answer this question, the robotic Cassini spacecraft dove last week to within 30 kilometers of Saturn's ice-plume emitting moon. At this closest-ever...