Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)SOHO Sungrazer
SOHO, the space-based SOlar and Heliospheric Observatory, has become by far the reigning champion facility for discovering comets, its total having recently reached 200. As might be expected of a solar observatory, most of the SOHO discovered comets are sungrazers, destined to dive within a mere 50 thousand kilometers or so of the solar photosphere.
Full Throttle For Deep Space 1
At full throttle the Deep Space 1 spacecraft's innovative ion drive produces about 1/50th of a pound of thrust ... a force so great that it would just about hold up a piece of paper on planet Earth! Still, powered by solar arrays ion propulsion systems can run continuously.
The Brown Dwarfs of Orions Trapezium
The bright stars above are well known as heart of the Trapezium, an open cluster of stars in the center of the Orion Nebula. The many dim objects, however, are not well known, and have come to attention only on recent images in infrared light.
The Regolith of Asteroid Eros
From fifty kilometers above asteroid Eros, the surface inside one of its largest craters appears covered with an unusual substance: regolith. The thickness and composition of the surface dust that is regolith remains a topic of much research.
The Helix Nebula from CFHT
One day our Sun may look like this. The Helix Nebula is the closest example of a planetary nebula created at the end of the life of a Sun-like star. The outer gasses of the star expelled into space appear from our vantage point as if we are looking down a helix.
Orion's Horsehead Nebula
The Horsehead Nebula is one of the most famous nebulae on the sky. It is visible as the black indentation to the red emission nebula seen just to the right of center of the above photograph. The bright star near the center is located in the belt of the familiar constellation of Orion.
This dream-like image of Mir was recorded by astronauts as the Space Shuttle Atlantis approached the Russian space station prior to docking during the STS-76 mission. Sporting spindly appendages and solar panels...
Astypalaea Linea on Jovian ice moon Europa is the broad smooth region running through these images recorded by the Galileo spacecraft in 1998. The pictures are different computer processed versions of the same mosaic -- on the left, small scale details have been enhanced while on the right, large scale features are emphasized.
Eros At Sunset
Gleaming in the rays of the setting sun, boulders litter the rugged surface of asteroid 433 Eros. The brightest boulder, at the edge of the large, shadowy crater near this picture's bottom center, is about 30 meters (100 feet) across.
NGC 6960: The Witch's Broom Nebula
Ten thousand years ago, before the dawn of recorded human history, a new light must suddenly have appeared in the night sky and faded after a few weeks. Today we know this light was an exploding star and record the colorful expanding cloud as the Veil Nebula.