Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Tentacles of the Tarantula Nebula
The largest, most violent star forming region known in the whole Local Group of galaxies lays in our neighboring galaxy the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). Were the Tarantula Nebula at the distance of the Orion Nebula -- a local star forming region -- it would take up fully half the sky.
A Red Dome Under the Big Dipper
Why would the dome of a telescopic observatory appear translucent red? As one of the telescopes of the Etscorn Observatory of New Mexico Tech waited to inspect small portions of the night sky, playful observers decided to make this unusual image.
Cluster Crash Illuminates Dark Matter Conundrum
Huge clusters of galaxies are surely colliding in Abell 520 but astrophysicists aren't sure why the dark matter is becoming separated from the normal matter. The dark matter in the above multi-wavelength image is shown in false blue, determined by carefully detailing how the cluster distorts light emitted by more distant galaxies.
A Sonic Boom
Is this what a sonic boom looks like? When an airplane travels at a speed faster than sound, density waves of sound emitted by the plane cannot precede the plane, and so accumulate in a cone behind the plane.
ISS Over Mont Megantic Observatory
On August 1st, a time exposure created this surreal view that looks up into the early morning sky over southern Quebec. Only the light from a nearly Full Moon brightens the sky and highlights the dome of the 1.6 meter telescope at Mont-Megantic Observatory.
The Tail of a Wonderful Star
To seventeenth century astronomers, Omicron Ceti or Mira was known as a wonderful star, a star whose brightness could change dramatically in the course of about 11 months. Mira is now seen as the archetype of an entire class of long-period variable stars.
Moonless Perseid Sky
Last weekend, dark, moonless night skies brought many sightings of Perseid meteors to skygazers all over planet Earth. Early Sunday morning astronomer John Chumack's camera captured this Perseid meteor streak with a flare near the end of its track over Yellow Springs, Ohio.
Mysterious Streaks Over Turkey
What are they? Five streaks near the bottom of the above image taken near Ankara, Turkey on Sunday would be identified at first glance as meteors from the Perseids meteor shower peaking just that night. Unexpectedly, however, these streaks do not point back to the Perseids radiant in Perseus. Their origin is therefore somewhat unclear.
A Spectacular Sky Over the Grand Tetons
Behold the breathtaking beauty of Earth and sky together. In the foreground is the Teton Mountain Range of Wyoming, USA. The Grand Tetons are a relatively isolated set of high peaks that are part of the Rocky Mountains.
The Trifid Nebula in Stars and Dust
Unspeakable beauty and unimaginable bedlam can be found together in the Trifid Nebula. Also known as M20, this photogenic nebula is visible with good binoculars towards the constellation of Sagittarius. The energetic processes of star formation create not only the colors but the chaos. The red-glowing gas results from high-energy starlight striking interstellar hydrogen gas.