Astronomy Picture of the Day

Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)

Млечный Путь над лесом колчанных деревьев Milky Way Over Quiver Tree Forest

In front of a famous background of stars and galaxies lies some of Earth's more unusual trees. Known as quiver trees, they are actually succulent aloe plants that can grow to tree-like proportions. The quiver tree name is derived from the historical usefulness of their hollowed branches as dart holders.

NGC 604: гигантские звездные ясли NGC 604: Giant Stellar Nursery

Stars are sometimes born in the midst of chaos. About 3 million years ago in the nearby galaxy M33, a large cloud of gas spawned dense internal knots which gravitationally collapsed to form stars. NGC 604 was so large, however, it could form enough stars to make a globular cluster.

Полное солнечное затмение в движении Time Lapse: A Total Solar Eclipse

Have you ever experienced a total eclipse of the Sun? The above time-lapse movie depicts such an eclipse in dramatic detail as visible from Australia last month. As the video begins, a slight dimming of the Sun and the surrounding Earth is barely perceptible.

Астронавт, который поймал спутник The Astronaut Who Captured a Satellite

In 1984, high above the Earth's surface, an astronaut captured a satellite. It was the second satellite captured that mission. Pictured above, astronaut Dale A. Gardner flies free using the Manned Maneuvering Unit and begins to attach a control device dubbed the Stinger to the rotating Westar 6 satellite.

Восход Луны над Баку Baku Moonrise

A Full Moon rises in this waterfront scene. Its colorful, watery reflection is joined by harbor lights and a windowed skyscraper's echo of the western horizon just after sunset. The tantalizing image is a composite of frames recorded at 2 minute intervals on November 28 from the Caspian Sea port city of Baku, Azerbaijan.

Земля ночью Earth at Night

This remarkably complete view of Earth at night is a composite of cloud-free, nighttime images. The images were collected during April and October 2012 by the Suomi-NPP satellite from polar orbit about 824 kilometers (512 miles) above the surface using its Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS).

47 Тукана около Малого Магелланова Облака 47 Tuc Near the Small Magellanic Cloud

Globular star cluster 47 Tucanae is a jewel of the southern sky. Also known as NGC 104, it roams the halo of our Milky Way Galaxy along with around 200 other globular star clusters.

Плазменные выбросы из радио-галактики Геркулес A Plasma Jets from Radio Galaxy Hercules A

Why does this galaxy emit such spectacular jets? No one is sure, but it is likely related to an active supermassive black hole at its center. The galaxy at the image center, Hercules A, appears to be a relatively normal elliptical galaxy in visible light.

В центре вихря над северным полюсом Сатурна In the Center of Saturns North Polar Vortex

What's happening at the north pole of Saturn? A vortex of strange and complex swirling clouds. The center of this vortex was imaged in unprecedented detail last week by the robotic Cassini spacecraft orbiting Saturn. These clouds lie at the center of the unusual hexagonal cloud system that surrounds the north pole of Saturn.

Четырехкратное лунное гало над Испанией A Quadruple Lunar Halo Over Spain

Sometimes falling ice crystals make the atmosphere into a giant lens causing arcs and halos to appear around the Sun or Moon. This past Saturday night was just such a time near Madrid, Spain, where a winter sky displayed not only a bright Moon but as many as four rare lunar halos.

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