Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)The Mysterious Rings of Supernova 1987A
What's causing those odd rings in supernova 1987A? In 1987, the brightestsupernova in recent history occurred in the Large Magellanic Clouds. At the center of the picture is an object central to the remains of the violent stellar explosion.
The surface of Venus is perpetually covered by a veil of thick clouds and remains hidden from even the powerful telescopic eyes of earth-bound astronomers. But in the early 1990s, using imaging radar...
NGC 4631: The Whale Galaxy
NGC 4631 is a big beautiful spiral galaxy seen edge-on only 25 million light-years away towards the small northern constellation Canes Venatici. This galaxy's slightly distorted wedge shape suggests to some a cosmic herring and to others the popular moniker of The Whale Galaxy.
Centaurus Galaxy Cluster in X Rays
The Centaurus Cluster is a swarm of hundreds of galaxies a mere 170 million light-years away. Like other immense galaxy clusters, the Centaurus Cluster is filled with gas at temperatures of 10 million degrees or more, making the cluster a luminous source of cosmic x-rays.
Looking Into an Io Volcano
What would it look like to peer into one of the volcanoes currently active on Jupiter's moon Io? The caldera of Tupan Patera, named after a Brazilian thunder god, reveals itself...
Comet Ikeya Zhang over Tenerife
Comet Ikeya-Zhang has become bright enough to stand out in the night sky. Discovered February 1, the comet has now just rounded the Sun and has likely attained its peak brightness. The comet appears...
An Unusual Globule in IC 1396
Is there a monster in IC 1396? Known to some as the Elephant's Trunk Nebula, parts of gas and dust clouds of this star formation region may appear to take on foreboding forms, some nearly human. The only real monster here, however, is a bright young star too far from Earth to hurt us.
The Cats Eye Nebula
Three thousand light-years away, a dying star throws off shells of glowing gas. This image from the Hubble Space Telescope reveals the Cat's Eye Nebula to be one of the most complex planetary nebulae known.
The Water Vapor Channel
What alien planet's bizarre landscape lurks below these fiery-looking clouds? It's only planet Earth, of course ... as seen on the Water Vapor Channel. Hourly, images like this one (an infrared image shown in false-color) are brought to you by the orbiting Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites' (GOES) multi-channel imagers.
Odyssey Over Mars
Scroll right and journey for 300 kilometers over Terra Sirenum in the cratered highlands of southern Mars. The infrared view, 32 kilometers wide, was recently recorded by the THEMIS camera on board the orbiting Mars Odyssey spacecraft.