Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Giant Cluster Bends, Breaks Galaxy Images
What are those strange blue objects? Many are images of a single, unusual, beaded, blue, ring-like galaxy which just happens to line-up behind a giant cluster of galaxies. Cluster galaxies here appear yellow and -- together with the cluster's dark matter -- act as a gravitational lens.
Comet Hyakutake on a Starry Night
It was a starry night in April (April 9th, 1996, 9:32 pm CDT to be exact) near Lone Jack, Missouri when Comet Hyakutake graced this astronomically rich field. Making an appearance as the brilliant evening star, Venus is overexposed at the far left.
At the Edge of the Helix
While exploring the inner edge of the Helix Nebula with the Hubble Space Telescope's Wide Field Planetary Camera 2, astronomers were able to produce this striking image - rich in details of an exotic environment.
A Supernova in the Whirlpool
In 1994, a new star in a distant galaxy was seen by amateur astronomers, who alerted the world to their discovery of a supernova. Near the nucleus of spiral galaxy M51, popularly known...
Apollo 17 Lunarscape: A Magnificent Desolation
Buzz Aldrin, Apollo 11 Lunar Module pilot and the second human to walk on the Moon described the lunar landscape as "a magnificent desolation". Dramatic pictures from the Apollo missions to the moon's surface testify to this apt turn of phrase.
The Virgo Cluster: Hot Plasma and Dark Matter
This ROSAT image of the Virgo cluster of galaxies reveals a hot X-ray emitting plasma or gas with a temperature of 10-100 million degrees pervading the cluster. False colors have been used to represent the intensity of X-ray emission.
Hyakutake, Venus, Orion, and Pond
Can you find Comet Hyakutake in the above picture? In this gorgeous photo, the starry night sky of April 9th is pictured with its new comet visitor. In the foreground is a pond with the lights of Kansas City, Missouri on the western horizon. On the upper left, the constellation of Orion is visible.
NGC 7293: The Helix Nebula
The Helix nebula (New General Catalog number 7293) is estimated to be a mere 450 light-years from the Sun, in the direction of the constellation Aquarius. At that distance it may well be the closest planetary nebula, offering a dramatic snapshot of a brief final evolutionary stage in the life of a solar-type star.
Cometary Knots in the Helix Nebula
Four hundred fifty light-years from Earth, the wind from a dying, sun-like star produced a planetary nebula popularly known as the Helix. While exploring the Helix's gaseous envelope with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), astronomers discovered indications of 1,000s of striking "cometary knots" like those shown above.
NASA Mission to MAP the Universe
What is our universe made of? How rapidly is our universe expanding? When did galaxies form? These questions, among the most important and baffling to astronomers since the beginning of the modern astronomical era, might well be answered by a new space satellite mission.