Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)It s Raining on Titan
It's been raining on Titan. In fact, it's likely been raining methane on Titan and that's not an April Fools' joke. The almost familiar scene depicted in this artist's vision of the surface of Saturn's largest moon looks across an eroding landscape into a stormy sky.
MESSENGER at Mercury
On March 17, the MESSENGER spacecraft became the first to orbit Mercury, the solar system's innermost planet. This is its first processed color image since entering Mercury orbit. Larger, denser, and with almost twice the surface gravity of Earth's moon, Mercury still looks moon-like at first glance.
NGC 5584: Expanding the Universe
Big, beautiful NGC 5548 is more that 50,000 light-years across and lies 72 million light-years away toward the constellation Virgo. The winding spiral arms of this gorgeous island universe are loaded with luminous young star clusters and dark dust lanes. Still, for earthbound astronomers NGC 5548 is not just another pretty face-on spiral galaxy.
Kepler s Suns and Planets
Using the prolific planet hunting Kepler spacecraft, astronomers have discovered 1,235 candidate planets orbiting other suns since the Kepler mission's search for Earth-like worlds began in 2009. To find them, Kepler monitors...
Time Lapse Auroras Over Norway
Sometimes, after your eyes adapt to the dark, a spectacular sky appears. Such was the case earlier this month when one of the largest auroral displays in recent years appeared over northern locations like the border between Norway and Russia.
Valles Marineris: The Grand Canyon of Mars
The largest canyon in the Solar System cuts a wide swath across the face of Mars. Named Valles Marineris, the grand valley extends over 3,000 kilometers long, spans as much as 600 kilometers across, and delves as much as 8 kilometers deep.
T Tauri and Hind s Variable Nebula
The yellowish star near center in this remarkable telescopic skyview is T Tauri, prototype of the class of T Tauri variable stars. Nearby it is a dusty yellow cosmic cloud historically known as Hind's Variable Nebula (NGC 1555).
Auroral Substorm over Yellowknife
Intense auroral activity flooded the night with shimmering colors on February 24, captured here from a lodge near the city of Yellowknife in northern Canada. The stunning sequence (left to right) of three all-sky exposures, taken at 30 second intervals, shows rapid changes in dancing curtains of northern lights against a starry background.
Last week's Full Moon was hard to miss. Rising on March 19, its exact full phase occurred within an hour of perigee, the closest point in the Moon's orbit to Earth.
MWC 922: The Red Square Nebula
What could cause a nebula to appear square? No one is quite sure. The hot star system known as MWC 922, however, appears to be embedded in a nebula with just such a shape. The above image combines infrared exposures from the Hale Telescope on Mt.