Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Black Hole Safety Video
If you were a small one-eyed monster, would you want to visit a black hole? Well the one in this video does -- but should it? No, actually, but since our little friend is insistent on going, the video informs it what black holes really are, and how to be as safe as possible when visiting.
Orion Rising over Brazil
Have you seen Orion lately? The next few months will be the best for seeing this familiar constellation as it rises continually earlier in the night. However, Orion's stars and nebulas won't look quite as colorful to the eye as they do in this fantastic camera image.
MyCn 18: The Engraved Hourglass Planetary Nebula
Do you see the hourglass shape -- or does it see you? If you can picture it, the rings of MyCn 18 trace the outline of an hourglass -- although one with an unusual eye in its center. Either way, the sands of time are running out for the central star of this hourglass-shaped planetary nebula.
An Analemma of the Sun
This week the equinox found the Sun near the middle, but not at the crossing point, of an analemma in its annual trek through planet Earth's skies. In this scenic view, that graceful, figure-8-shaped curve was intentionally posed above the iconic Danube River and the capital city of Hungary.
The Annotated Galactic Center
The center of our Milky Way galaxy can be found some 26,000 light-years away toward the constellation Sagittarius. Even on a dark night, you can't really see it though. Gaze in that direction, and your sight-line is quickly obscured by intervening interstellar dust.
Da Vinci Rise
An old Moon rose this morning, its waning sunlit crescent shining just above the eastern horizon before sunrise. But earthshine, light reflected from a bright planet Earth, lit the shadowed portion of the lunar disk and revealed most of a familiar lunar near side to early morning risers.
The Pelican Nebula in Gas, Dust, and Stars
The Pelican Nebula is slowly being transformed. IC 5070, the official designation, is divided from the larger North America Nebula by a molecular cloud filled with dark dust. The Pelican, however, receives much study because it is a particularly active mix of star formation and evolving gas clouds.
Sand Dunes Thawing on Mars
What are these strange shapes on Mars? Defrosting sand dunes. As spring dawned on the Northern Hemisphere of Mars, dunes of sand near the pole, as pictured here in late May by ESA's ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter, began to thaw.
Equinox: The Sun from Solstice to Solstice
Today is an equinox, a date when day and night are equal. Tomorrow, and every day until the next equinox, the night will be longer than the day in Earth's northern hemisphere, and the day will be longer than the night in Earth's southern hemisphere.
Eye Sky a Dragon
What do you see when you look into this sky? In the center, in the dark, do you see a night sky filled with stars? Do you see a sunset to the left? Clouds all around? Do you see the central band of our Milky Way Galaxy running down the middle?