Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)The Keyhole Nebula
The dark dusty Keyhole Nebula gets its name from its unusual shape. Officially designated NGC 3324, the Keyhole Nebula is a smaller region superposed on the larger Eta Carina Nebula. These nebulae were created by the dying star Eta Carina, which is prone to violent outbursts during its final centuries.
M42: A Mosaic of Orion's Great Nebula
The Great Nebula in Orion, an immense, nearby starbirth region, is probably the most famous of all astronomical nebulae. Here, 15 pictures from the Hubble Space Telescope have been mosaicked to cover the inner 2.5 light years of the nebula and illustrate its diverse nature.
Star Party Trails
Stargazing is fun! If you'd like to try it, this weekend may be your chance as many astronomy clubs and organizations will be hosting public celebrations of Astronomy Day on Saturday, May 22nd. In recent years, open house nights at observatories, astronomy club gatherings, and star parties have become increasingly popular.
Cyclone on Mars
Late last month a team of Mars-watching astronomers sighted an immense cyclonic storm system raging near the Red Planet's north pole. Their discovery picture, made with the Hubble Space Telescope on April 27, is seen at left while the projected insets (right) show closeups of the storm and surrounding areas.
The Horsehead Nebula
One of the most identifiable nebulae in the sky, the Horsehead Nebula in Orion, is part of a large, dark, molecular cloud. Also known as Barnard 33, the unusual shape was first discovered on a photographic plate in the late 1800s.
A Laguna Triangle
High above Laguna Beach last month hung bright celestial orbs. Visible after the California sunset were, from left to right, the Moon, Saturn, and Venus. Tonight and for the next few days, Venus and the Moon will again be visible together. Nearby stars will include Pollux, Castor, and Procyon.
How to Search for Aliens
"Mom, can I use our computer to search for aliens?" Last week, the SETI@home project released free software that enables many home computers to search for signals from intelligent extra-terrestrials. These signals may have already been detected by the huge Arecibo radio telescope
Europe at Night
This is what Europe looks like at night! Can you find your favorite European city? Although not all of Europe is shown, city lights might make this task possible. The above picture is actually a composite of over 200 images made by satellites orbiting the Earth.
Star Wars in NGC 664
Long ago in a galaxy far, far away, locked in their final desperate struggle against the force of gravity ... two stars exploded! stellar explosions - Supernovae - are among the most powerful events in the Universe, estimated to release an equivalent energy of up to 1 million trillion trillion (1 followed by 30 zeros) megatons of TNT.
Landsat 7 Views Planet Earth
Launched last month, NASA's Landsat 7 spacecraft now orbits planet Earth. Looking down from an altitude of 700 km, Landsat 7 can map the planet's surface in visible and infrared bands and resolve features 30 meters across or smaller.