Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Fomalhaut Dust Disk Indicates Planets
One of the brightest stars on the sky likely has planets. Fomalhaut, actually the 17th brightest star in the night sky, is a mere 22 light-years away but only a fraction of the age of our Sun.
Dusty Environs of Eta Carinae
Eta Car is a massive star, but it's not as bright as it used to be. Now only easily visible in binoculars or a small telescope, Eta Carinae has a history of spectacular flaring and fading behavior.
Quaoar: Large Asteroid in the Outer Solar System
Asteroids almost as large as planets are still being discovered in our own Solar System. Recently an asteroid more than half the size of Pluto was found orbiting at a distance only a little further than the Solar System's most distant planet.
The X Ray Jets of XTE J1550
The motion of ultra-fast jets shooting out from a candidate black hole star system have now been documented by observations from the orbiting Chandra X-ray Observatory. In 1998, X-ray source XTE J1550-564 underwent a tremendous outburst.
The Galaxy and the Quasar
Is the galaxy in the center connected to the quasar on the upper right? Disagreements about systems like this have raged for decades and have been used to challenge the foundations of modern cosmology.
The Lagoon Nebula in Three Colors
The bright Lagoon Nebula is home to a diverse array of astronomical objects. Particularly interesting sources include a bright open cluster of stars and several energetic star-forming regions. When viewed by eye, cluster light...
X Ray Cygnus A
Amazingly detailed, this false-color x-ray image is centered on the galaxy Cygnus A. Recorded by the orbiting Chandra Observatory, Cygnus A is seen here as a spectacular high energy x-ray source. But it is actually more famous at the low energy end of the electromagnetic spectrum as one of the brightest celestial radio sources.
Facing NGC 6946
From our vantage point in the Milky Way Galaxy, we see NGC 6946 face on. The big beautiful spiral galaxy is located just 10 million light-years away, behind a veil of foreground stars in the high and far-off constellation of Cepheus.
V838 Mon: Mystery Star
A leading candidate for the most mysterious star found in recent times is variable star V838 Monocerotis. At a distance of about 8,000 light-years, V838 Mon was discovered to be in outburst in January of this year.
Star Clouds Toward the Southern Crown
The flowing trails of dust toward Corona Australis, the constellation of the Southern Crown, are visible here because not because they glow, but because they absorb and reflect. The dust appears bluer when seen near bright stars because it preferentially reflects blue light.