Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)The Light, the Dark, and the Dusty
This colorful skyscape spans about three full moons across nebula rich starfields along the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy toward the royal northern constellation Cepheus. Near the edge of the region's massive...
APOD: 2024 January 9 Б Thors Helmet
Thor not only has his own day (Thursday), but a helmet in the heavens. Popularly called Thor's Helmet, NGC 2359 is a hat-shaped cosmic cloud with wing-like appendages. Heroically sized even for a Norse god, Thor's Helmet is about 30 light-years across.
APOD: 2024 January 8 Б The Phases of Venus
Venus goes through phases. Just like our Moon, Venus can appear as a full circular disk, a thin crescent, or anything in between. Venus, frequently the brightest object in the post-sunset or pre-sunrise sky, appears so small, however, that it usually requires binoculars or a small telescope to clearly see its current phase.
APOD: 2024 January 7 Б The Cats Eye Nebula in Optical and X-ray
To some it looks like a cat's eye. To others, perhaps like a giant cosmic conch shell. It is actually one of the brightest and most highly detailed planetary nebula known, composed of gas expelled in the brief yet glorious phase near the end of life of a Sun-like star.
The Snows of Churyumov Gerasimenko
You couldn't really be caught in this blizzard while standing by a cliff on periodic comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Orbiting the comet in June of 2016, the Rosetta spacecraft's narrow angle camera did record...
Trapezium: At the Heart of Orion
Near the center of this sharp cosmic portrait, at the heart of the Orion Nebula, are four hot, massive stars known as the Trapezium. Gathered within a region about 1.5 light-years in radius, they dominate the core of the dense Orion Nebula Star Cluster.
Zeta Oph: Runaway Star
Like a ship plowing through cosmic seas, runaway star Zeta Ophiuchi produces the arcing interstellar bow wave or bow shock seen in this stunning infrared portrait. In the false-color view, bluish Zeta...
APOD: 2024 January 3 Б A SAR Arc from New Zealand
What is that unusual red halo surrounding this aurora? It is a Stable Auroral Red (SAR) arc. SAR arcs are rare and have only been acknowledged and studied since 1954. The featured wide-angle photograph...
APOD: 2024 January 2 Б Rocket Transits Rippling Moon
Can a rocket make the Moon ripple? No, but it can make a background moon appear wavy. The rocket, in this case, was a SpaceX Falcon Heavy that blasted off from NASA's Kennedy Space Center last week.
APOD: 2024 January 1 Б NGC 1232: A Grand Design Spiral Galaxy
Galaxies are fascinating not only for what is visible, but for what is invisible. Grand spiral galaxy NGC 1232, captured in detail by one of the Very Large Telescopes, is a good example.