Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Perseverance Valley Panorama
Mars exploration rover Opportunity's parting panorama from Perseverance Valley spans 360 degrees in this false color mosaic. The scene is composed of 354 individual images recorded through 3 different color filters by the rover's panoramic camera from May 13 through June 10, 2018.
Highlights of the North Spring Sky
What can you see in the night sky this season? The featured graphic gives a few highlights for Earth's northern hemisphere. Viewed as a clock face centered at the bottom, early (northern) spring sky events fan out toward the left, while late spring events are projected toward the right.
Touchdown on Asteroid Ryugu
Last month, humanity bounced a robot off an asteroid. The main reason was to collect a surface sample. Despite concern over finding a safely reboundable touchdown spot, Japan's robotic Hayabusa2 spacecraft successfully touched down -- and bounced right back from -- asteroid Ryugu.
The Central Magnetic Field of the Cigar Galaxy
Are galaxies giant magnets? Yes, but the magnetic fields in galaxies are typically much weaker than on Earth's surface, as well as more complex and harder to measure. Recently, though, the HAWC+ instrument...
Moonrise Through Mauna Keas Shadow
How can the Moon rise through a mountain? It cannot -- what was photographed here is a moonrise through the shadow of a large volcano. The volcano is Mauna Kea, Hawai'i, USA, a frequent spot for spectacular photographs since it is one of the premier observing locations on planet Earth.
Peering from the shadows, the Saturn-facing hemisphere of tantalizing inner moon Enceladus poses in this Cassini spacecraft image. North is up in the dramatic scene captured during November 2016 as Cassini's camera was pointed in a nearly sunward direction about 130,000 kilometers from the moon's bright crescent.
Stardust and Starlight in M78
Interstellar dust clouds and bright nebulae abound in the fertile constellation of Orion. One of the brightest, M78, is near the center in this colorful telescopic view, covering an area north of Orion's belt. At a distance of about 1,500 light-years, the bluish nebula itself is about 5 light-years across.
Sharpless 249 and the Jellyfish Nebula
Normally faint and elusive, the Jellyfish Nebula is caught in this alluring telescopic field of view. The entire scene is a two panel mosaic constructed using narrowband image data, with emission from sulfur, hydrogen and oxygen atoms shown in red, green and blue hues.
A February without Sunpots
Where have all the sunspots gone? Last month the total number of spots that crossed our Sun was ... zero. Well below of the long term monthly average, the Sun's surface has become as unusually passive this solar minimum just like it did 11 years ago during the last solar minimum.
X Ray Superbubbles in Galaxy NGC 3079
What created these huge galactic superbubbles? Two of these unusual bubbles, each spanning thousands of light-years, were recently discovered near the center of spiral galaxy NGC 3079. The superbubbles, shown in purple on the image right, are so hot they emit X-rays detected by NASA's Earth-orbiting Chandra X-Ray Observatory.