Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)An Unusual Globule in IC 1396
Is there a monster in IC 1396? Known to some as the Elephant's Trunk Nebula, parts of gas and dust clouds of this star formation region may appear to take on foreboding forms, some nearly human. The only real monster here, however, is a bright young star too far from Earth to hurt us.
Io in True Color
The strangest moon in the Solar System is bright yellow. The featured picture, an attempt to show how Io would appear in the "true colors" perceptible to the average human eye, was taken in 1999 July by the Galileo spacecraft that orbited Jupiter from 1995 to 2003.
America and the Sea of Serenity
Get out your red/blue glasses and check out this stereo view of another world. Fifty years ago the scene was recorded by Apollo 17 mission commander Eugene Cernan on December 11, 1972, one orbit before descending to land on the Moon.
Mars Rises above the Lunar Limb
On the night of December 7 Mars wandered near the Full Moon. In fact the Red Planet was occulted, passing behind the Moon, when viewed from locations across Europe and North America. About...
Orion and the Ocean of Storms
A camera on board the uncrewed Orion spacecraft captured this view on December 5 as Orion approached its return powered flyby of the Moon. Below one of Orion's extended solar arrays lies dark, smooth, terrain along the western edge of the Oceanus Procellarum.
NGC 7293: The Helix Nebula
A mere seven hundred light years from Earth, toward the constellation Aquarius, a sun-like star is dying. The dying star's last few thousand years have produced the Helix Nebula (NGC 7293), a well studied and nearby example of a Planetary Nebula, typical of this final phase of stellar evolution.
M16: A Star Forming Pillar from Webb
WhatБs happening inside this interstellar mountain? Stars are forming. The mountain is actually a column of gas and dust in the picturesque Eagle Nebula (M16). A pillar like this is so low in density that you could easily fly though it -- it only appears solid because of its high dust content and great depth.
Pleiades: The Seven Sisters Star Cluster
Have you ever seen the Pleiades star cluster? Even if you have, you probably have never seen it as large and clear as this. Perhaps the most famous star cluster on the sky, the bright stars of the Pleiades can be seen with the unaided eye even from the depths of a light-polluted city.
Video: Powers of Ten
How different does the universe look on very small scales? On very large scales? The most famous short science film of its generation gives breathtaking comparisons. That film, Powers of Ten, originally created in the 1960s, has been officially posted to YouTube and embedded here.
Mars looks sharp in these two rooftop telescope views captured in late November from Singapore, planet Earth. At the time, Mars was about 82 million kilometers from Singapore and approaching its opposition, opposite the Sun in planet Earth's sky on December 8.