Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Gamma Ray Bursts from the Unknown
Gamma Ray Bursts (GRBs) pose one of the greatest mysteries of modern astronomy. About once a day, the gamma-ray sky lights up with a spectacular explosion. No one knows what causes these explosions or even how far away they are.
Two Tails of Comet West
Here Comet West is seen showing two enormous tails that wrap around the sky. The ion tale of a comet usually appears more blue and always points away from the Sun. The dust tail trailing the comet's nucleus is the most prominent.
A World Explorer
Ferdinand Magellan was a world explorer. Many consider him the greatest navigator of Europe's 16th century age of sea going exploration and credit his expedition with the first circumnavigation of planet Earth. NASA...
A Radar Image of Planet Earth
This image of Mt. Rainier, Washington USA, planet Earth, was produced by the Spaceborne Radar Laboratory which flew on the Space Shuttle Endeavour in 1994. Radar, short for RAdio Detection And Ranging...
A Venusian Tick
Data from the Magellan spacecraft has shown the Face of Venus to contain a host of volcanic features. This image shows an example of a fairly common type of venusian volcanic feature. Known...
The surface of Venus is perpetually covered by a veil of thick clouds and remains hidden from even the powerful telescopic eyes of earth-based astronomers. However, using an imaging radar technique, the Magellan spacecraft...
An Orbiting Iceberg
A comet nucleus, formed from the primordial stuff of the solar system, resembles a very dirty iceberg. Orbiting far from our Sun, it can remain frozen, preserved for billions of years. Occasionally, a chance gravitational encounter will alter this distant orbit and send the nucleus plummeting towards the inner solar system.
Announcing Comet Hale-Bopp
The pictured fuzzy patch may become one of the most spectacular comets this century. Although it is very hard to predict how bright a comet will become, Comet Hale-Bopp, named for its discoverers...
Our Solar System from Voyager
After taking its spectacular pictures of the outer solar system planets, Voyager 1 looked back at six planets from the inner solar system. Here Venus, Earth, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, were all visible across the sky.
Pluto: The Frozen Planet
The Hubble Space Telescope imaged Pluto and its moon Charon in 1994. Pluto is usually the most distant planet from the Sun but because of its elliptic orbit Pluto crossed inside of Neptune's orbit in 1979 and will cross back out again in 1999.