Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)M44: The Beehive Cluster
A mere 600 light-years away, M44 is one of the closest star clusters to our solar system. Also known as the Praesepe or the Beehive cluster its stars are young though, about 600 million years old compared to our Sun's 4.5 billion years.
Portrait of NGC 3628
Sharp telescopic views of NGC 3628 show a puffy galactic disk divided by dark dust lanes. Of course, this portrait of the magnificent, edge-on spiral galaxy puts some astronomers in mind of its popular moniker, the Hamburger Galaxy.
Lyrid of the Lake
In the early hours of April 24 this bright Lyrid meteor flashed along the central Milky Way. For a moment, it cast a bright reflection across Lake Nian, Yunnan province, China. The annual Lyrid...
Moon Shadow on Jupiter
What is that large dark spot on Jupiter? It's the shadow of Io, one of Jupiter's largest moons. When Jupiter's moons cross between the Jovian giant and the Sun, they created shadows just like when the Earth's moon crosses between the Earth and the Sun.
Planet Parade over Sydney Opera House
The world is waking up to a picturesque planet parade. Just before dawn, the eastern skies over much of planet Earth are decorated by a notable line of familiar planets. In much of Earth...
The Great Nebula in Carina
In one of the brightest parts of Milky Way lies a nebula where some of the oddest things occur. NGC 3372, known as the Great Nebula in Carina, is home to massive stars and changing nebulas. The Keyhole Nebula (NGC 3324), the bright structure just below the image center, houses several of these massive stars.
A gorgeous spiral galaxy, Messier 104 is famous for its nearly edge-on profile featuring a broad ring of obscuring dust lanes. Seen in silhouette against an extensive central bulge of stars, the swath of cosmic dust lends a broad brimmed hat-like appearance to the galaxy suggesting a more popular moniker, the Sombrero Galaxy.
Planet Earth at Twilight
No sudden, sharp boundary marks the passage of day into night in this gorgeous view of ocean and clouds over our fair planet Earth. Instead, the shadow line or terminator is diffuse and shows the gradual transition to darkness we experience as twilight.
Apollo 16 Moon Panorama
Fifty years ago, April 20, 1972, Apollo 16's lunar module Orion touched down on the Moon's near side in the south-central Descartes Highlands. While astronaut Ken Mattingly orbited overhead in Casper the friendly command and service module the Orion brought John Young and Charles Duke to the lunar surface.
Planet Line over New York Bridge
There's an interesting sky to see if you wake up before the Sun. Lined up on toward the eastern horizon are four planets in a row. The planets are so bright they can even be seen from the bright sky inside a city.