Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Meteors Between Stars and Clouds
Streaking high above diffuse clouds -- but well in front of distant stars -- are sand-sized bits of an ancient comet: meteors. These bits flaked off Comet Tempel-Tuttle during its pass through the inner Solar System about 150 years ago. Far in the background are stars toward the constellation of Ursa Major.
M17: Omega Nebula Star Factory
In the depths of the dark clouds of dust and molecular gas known as M17, stars continue to form. The similarity to the Greek letter capital Omega gives the molecular cloud its popular name, but the nebula is also known as the Swan Nebula, the Horseshoe Nebula, and M17.
Moon Shadow Moves Over Africa
When the Moon's shadow reached out and touched the Earth last week, the result was a solar eclipse. Such an eclipse is total only for observers located along a narrow path corresponding to the ground track of the shadow's dark central portion or umbra.
The International Space Station Expands Yet Again
The developing International Space Station (ISS) has changed its appearance yet again. Earlier this month the Space Shuttle Endeavor visited the ISS and installed the fourth of eleven pieces that will compose the Integrated Truss Structure. The new P-1 Truss is visible on the left, below the extended solar panels.
Jupiter, Io, and Shadow
Pictured above is the innermost of Jupiter's Galilean satellites, Io, superposed in front of the gas giant planet. To the left of Io is a dark spot that is Io's own shadow. A solar eclipse would be seen from within the shadow spot on Jupiter.
Zimbabwe Solar Eclipse
Normally hidding from view in the glare of the Sun, the shy solar corona came out to play Wednesday as a total solar eclipse graced morning skies over southern Africa. This telescopic image...
NGC 2359: Thor s Helmet
NGC 2359 is a striking emission nebula with an impressive popular name - Thor's Helmet. Sure, its suggestive winged appearance might lead some to refer to it as the "duck nebula", but if you were a nebula which name would you choose?
Moon, Mars, Venus, and Spica
Gliding toward today's total eclipse of the Sun, the crescent Moon has been rising early, just before dawn. And as a prelude to its close solar alignment, the Moon also completed a lovely celestial triangle, closing with bright planets Mars and Venus on the morning of December 1.
Eclipse Over Acacia
On December 4th, for the second time in as many years, the Moon's shadow will track across southern Africa bringing a total solar eclipse to African skies. Reaching Africa just before...
Nearby Spiral M33
Spiral galaxy M33 is a mid-sized member of our Local Group of Galaxies. M33 is also called the Triangulum Galaxy for the constellation in which it resides. About four times smaller (in radius) than...