Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Hammer Versus Feather on the Moon
If you drop a hammer and a feather together, which reaches the ground first? On the Earth, it's the hammer, but is the reason only because of air resistance? Scientists even before Galileo have pondered and tested this simple experiment and felt that without air resistance, all objects would fall the same way.
Ghost of the Cepheus Flare
Spooky shapes seem to haunt this starry expanse, drifting through the night in the royal constellation Cepheus. Of course, the shapes are cosmic dust clouds faintly visible in dimly reflected starlight. Far from your...
White Rock Fingers on Mars
What caused this unusual light rock formation on Mars? Intrigued by the possibility that they could be lakebed dried-up, detailed studies of these fingers now indicate a more mundane possibility: volcanic ash. Studying the exact color of the formation indicated the possible volcanic origin.
Spiral Galaxy NGC 3370 from Hubble
Is this what our own Milky Way Galaxy looks like from far away? Similar in size and grand design to our home Galaxy (although without the central bar), spiral galaxy NGC 3370 lies about 100 million light-years away toward the constellation of the Lion (Leo).
As northern hemisphere nights grow longer, October is a good month for spotting auroras, or even other eerie apparitions after dark. And this week the night sky did not disappoint. On October 24th a solar coronal mass ejection impacted planet Earth's magnetosphere triggering far ranging auroral displays.
Young Suns of NGC 7129
Young suns still lie within dusty NGC 7129, some 3,000 light-years away toward the royal constellation Cepheus. While these stars are at a relatively tender age, only a few million years old, it is likely that our own Sun formed in a similar stellar nursery some five billion years ago.
In Through and Beyond Saturns Rings
A fourth moon is visible on the above image if you look hard enough. First -- and furthest in the background -- is Titan, the largest moon of Saturn and one of the larger moons in the Solar System. The dark feature across the top of this perpetually cloudy world is the north polar hood.
IC 1805: The Heart Nebula in HDR
What powers the Heart Nebula? The large emission nebula dubbed IC 1805 looks, in whole, like a human heart. The nebula glows brightly in red light emitted by its most prominent element: hydrogen. The red glow and the larger shape are all created by a small group of stars near the nebula's center.
HH 222: The Waterfall Nebula
What created the Waterfall Nebula? No one knows. The structure seen in the region of NGC 1999 in the Great Orion Molecular Cloud complex is one of the more mysterious structures yet found on the sky. Designated HH-222, the elongated gaseous stream stretches about ten light years and emits an unusual array of colors.
Jupiter's Clouds from New Horizons
The New Horizons spacecraft took some stunning images of Jupiter on its way out to Pluto. Famous for its Great Red Spot, Jupiter is also known for its regular, equatorial cloud bands, visible through even modest sized telescopes.