Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Orbits of Potentially Hazardous Asteroids
Are asteroids dangerous? Some are, but the likelihood of a dangerous asteroid striking the Earth during any given year is low. Because some past mass extinction events have been linked to asteroid impacts, however, humanity has made it a priority to find and catalog those asteroids that may one day affect life on Earth.
M74: The Perfect Spiral
If not perfect, then this spiral galaxy is at least one of the most photogenic. An island universe of about 100 billion stars, 32 million light-years away toward the constellation Pisces, M74 presents a gorgeous face-on view.
Perseids over Meteora
The two bright meteors flashing through this night skyscape from August 7 are part of the ongoing Perseid meteor shower. In the direction indicated by both colorful streaks, the shower's radiant in the eponymous constellation Perseus is at the upper right.
Perseid over Albrechtsberg Castle
Medieval Albrechtsberg castle is nestled in trees near the northern bank of the river Pielach and the town of Melk, Austria. In clearing night skies on August 12, 2012 it stood under constellations of the northern summer, including Aquarius, Aquila, and faint, compact Delphinus (above and right of center) in this west-looking skyview.
NGC 3370: A Sharper View
Similar in size and grand design to our own Milky Way, spiral galaxy NGC 3370 lies about 100 million light-years away toward the constellation Leo. Recorded here in exquisite detail by the Hubble Space...
Meteors and Aurorae over Iceland
What's going on behind that volcano? Quite a bit. First of all, the volcano itself, named Kirkjufell, is quite old and located in western Iceland near the town of GrundarfjЖrПur. In front...
In the Vicinity of the Cone Nebula
Strange shapes and textures can be found in neighborhood of the Cone Nebula. The unusual shapes originate from fine interstellar dust reacting in complex ways with the energetic light and hot gas being expelled by the young stars.
What it would look like to leave planet Earth? Such an event was recorded visually in great detail by the MESSENGER spacecraft as it swung back past the Earth, eight years ago, on its way in toward the planet Mercury. Earth can be seen rotating in this time-lapse video, as it recedes into the distance.
Ios Surface: Under Construction
Like the downtown area of your favorite city and any self-respecting web site ... Io's surface is constantly under construction. This moon of Jupiter holds the distinction of being the Solar System's most volcanically active body -- its bizarre looking surface continuously formed and reformed by lava flows.
Twisting with NGC 3718
A careful look at this colorful cosmic snapshot reveals a surprising number of galaxies both near and far toward the constellation Ursa Major. The most striking is NGC 3718, the warped spiral galaxy near picture center. NGC 3718's spiral arms look twisted and extended, mottled with young blue star clusters.