Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)NGC 869 and NGC 884: A Double Open Cluster
Most star clusters are singularly impressive. Open clusters NGC 869 and NGC 884, however, are doubly impressive. Also known as "h and chi Persei", this unusual double cluster, shown above, is bright enough to be seen from a dark location without even binoculars.
A Lenticular Cloud Over Hawaii
Can a cloud do that? Actually, pictured above are several clouds all stacked up into one striking lenticular cloud. Normally, air moves much more horizontally than it does vertically. Sometimes, however, such as when wind comes off of a mountain or a hill, relatively strong vertical oscillations take place as the air stabilizes.
A Venus Landing
This image is part of the first color panoramic view from Venus. A TV camera on the Soviet Venera 13 lander that parachuted to the surface on 1982 March 1 transmitted it. Venus' clouds...
Phobos Over Mars
Hurtling through space a mere 3,000 miles above the Martian surface, the diminutive moon Phobos (below and left of center) was imaged against the backdrop of a large shield volcano by the Viking 2 Orbiter in 1977.
The Most Distant X Ray Jet
A false-color x-ray image inset at upper left reveals emission from a cosmic jet of high-energy particles, 100,000 light-years in length, emerging from quasar GB1508+5714. An estimated 12 billion (12,000,000,000) light-years away, this appears to be the most distant energetic jet in the known Universe.
The Long Shadow of the Moon
The long shadow of the Moon fell across the continent of Antarctica on November 23rd, during the second total solar eclipse of 2003. In this view from orbit, based on data from the MODIS instrument on board the Earth observing Aqua satellite, the Moon's shadow stretches for almost 500 kilometers.
The Turbulent Neighborhood of Eta Carina
How do violent stars affect their surroundings? To help find out, astronomers pointed the Hubble Space Telescope to the regions surrounding Eta Carina, a star showing signs that it may explode sometime in the next million years.
A Late Leonid from a Sparse Shower
The 2003 Leonids Meteor Shower contained relatively few meteors. As expected and unlike the last few years, the Earth just did not pass through any dense particle streams left over by the Sun-orbiting Comet Tempel-Tuttle.
IC 405: The Flaming Star Nebula
Rippling dust and gas lanes give the Flaming Star Nebula its name. The red and purple colors of the nebula are present in different regions and are created by different processes. The bright star...
A Superwind from the Cigar Galaxy
What's lighting up the Cigar Galaxy? M82, as this irregular galaxy is also known, was stirred up by a recent pass near large spiral galaxy M81. This doesn't fully explain the source of the red-glowing outwardly expanding gas, however.