Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Abell 1689 Warps Space
Two billion light-years away, galaxy cluster Abell 1689 is one of the most massive objects in the Universe. In this view from the Hubble Space Telescope's Advanced Camera for Surveys, Abell...
X Rays from the Galactic Core
Using the orbiting Chandra X-ray Observatory, astronomers have taken this long look at the core of our Milky Way galaxy, some 26,000 light-years away. The spectacular false-color view spans about 130 light-years.
Open Star Cluster M38
Open cluster M38 can be seen with binoculars toward the constellation of Auriga. M38 is considered an intermediately rich open cluster of stars, each of which is about 200 million years old. Located...
Shadow Cone of a Total Solar Eclipse
Sometimes, during a total eclipse of the Sun, a strange shadow of darkness can be seen stretching off into the distance. Called a shadow cone, they are visible because the Earth's atmosphere is not completely transparent, scattering sunlight and hence appearing blue during the day.
Atlantis to Orbit
Birds don't fly this high. Airplanes don't go this fast. The Statue of Liberty weighs less. No species other than human can even comprehend what is going on, nor could any human just a millennium ago. The launch of a rocket bound for space is an event that inspires awe and challenges description.
A Magellanic Starfield
Stars of many types and colors are visible in this Hubble Space Telescope close-up of a starfield in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). Over 10,000 stars are visible -- the brightest of which are giant stars. Were our Sun at the distance of these stars, about 170,000 light-years, it would hardly be discernable.
POX 186: Not So Long Ago
Not so long ago and not so far, far away, a galaxy was born. Seen in this Hubble Space Telescope image, the island universe of stars, gas, and dust cataloged as POX 186 is a mere 68 million light-years distant toward an uncrowded region in the constellation Virgo.
Mt Etna Eruption Plume
Mt. Etna has been erupting for hundreds of thousands of years. In late October of last year, however, earthquakes triggered a particularly vigorous outburst from this well known volcano on the Italian island of Sicily.
NGC 6960: The Witch's Broom Nebula
Ten thousand years ago, before the dawn of recorded human history, a new light must suddenly have appeared in the night sky and faded after a few weeks. Today we know this light was an exploding star and record the colorful expanding cloud as the Veil Nebula.
A Year of Assessing Astronomical Hazards
Could an asteroid destroy civilization on Earth? Mountain-sized space rocks could potentially impact the Earth causing global effects, and perhaps even be mistaken for a nuclear blast of terrestrial origin. Such large impacts are rare but have happened before. Modern telescopes have therefore begun to scan the skies for signs of approaching celestial hazards.