Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)McNaught s Matinee
Comets grow bright when they're close to the Sun, basking in the intense solar radiation. Of course, they're also usually impossible to see against the overwhelming scattered sunlight. But surprising Comet McNaught...
After a remarkable performance in the northern hemisphere, the brightest comet in decades is now showing off in the south. Recorded during evening twilight on January 17, this view features the bright coma...
Comet McNaught from New STEREO Satellite
The brightest comet of recent decades was a surprising first sight for a new camera in space. The Sun Earth Connection Coronal and Heliospheric Investigation (SECCHI) instrument onboard the Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory (STEREO) satellite had just opened up on January 11 when it snapped the above image of Comet McNaught.
Keplers Supernova Remnant in X Rays
What caused this mess? Some type of star exploded to create the unusually shaped nebula known as Kepler's supernova remnant, but which type? Light from the stellar explosion that created this energized cosmic cloud was first seen on planet Earth in October 1604, a mere four hundred years ago.
Comet McNaught Over Catalonia
This past weekend Comet McNaught peaked at a brightness that surpassed even Venus. Fascinated sky enthusiasts in the Earth's northern hemisphere were treated to an instantly visible comet head and a faint elongated tail near sunrise and sunset.
Sgr A*: Fast Stars Near the Galactic Center
Why are these stars moving so fast? Shown above is a time-lapse movie in infrared light detailing how stars in the central light-year of our Galaxy have moved over the past eight years.
Comet Over Krakow
Bright Comet McNaught (C/2006 P1) graced the twilight this week, seen by many and often described with superlatives. Watching the skies over Krakow, Poland, Andrzej Sawow recorded this view on Wednesday - with an ordinary handheld digital camera. He notes that "... astronomy is really for everyone who loves to look at the night sky.
Collinder 399: The Coat Hanger
Is this coat hanger a star cluster or an asterism? This cosmic hang-up has been debated over much of last century, as astronomers wondered whether this binocular-visible object is really a physically associated open cluster or a chance projection. Chance star projections are known as asterisms, an example of which is the popular Big Dipper.
The Eagle Nebula in Infrared
In visible light, the whole thing looks like an eagle. The region was captured recently in unprecedented detail in infrared light by the robotic orbiting Spitzer Space Telescope (SSC). Shown above, the infrared image...
NGC 602 and Beyond
Near the outskirts of the Small Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy some 200 thousand light-years distant, lies 5 million year young star cluster NGC 602. Surrounded by natal gas and dust, NGC 602 is featured in this stunning Hubble image of the region.