Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Sun Storm: A Coronal Mass Ejection
What's happening to our Sun? Another Coronal Mass Ejection (CME)! The Sun-orbiting SOHO spacecraft has imaged many erupting filaments lifting off the active solar surface and blasting enormous bubbles of magnetic plasma into space.
Comet Between Fireworks and Lightning
Sometimes the sky itself is the best show in town. On January 26, people from Perth, Australia gathered on a local beach to watch a sky light up with delights near and far. Nearby, fireworks exploded as part of Australia Day celebrations. On the far right, lightning from a thunderstorm flashed in the distance.
Shadow of a Martian Robot
What if you saw your shadow on Mars and it wasn't human? Then you might be the Opportunity rover currently exploring Mars. Opportunity and sister robot Spirit have been probing the red planet since early 2004, finding evidence of ancient water, and sending breathtaking images across the inner Solar System.
Alborz Mountains in Moonlight
On January 25th, light from a first quarter Moon illuminated this dreamlike landscape looking across the rugged, snow-covered peaks of the Alborz Mountain Range in northern Iran. The stunning sky is filled with stars, including the yellow-tinged Betelgeuse at the shoulder of Orion.
Flame Nebula Close Up
Of course, the Flame Nebula is not on fire. Also known as NGC 2024, the nebula's suggestive reddish color is due to the glow of hydrogen atoms at the edge of the giant Orion molecular cloud complex some 1,500 light-years away.
A Tail of Two Hemispheres
By January 19/20 Comet McNaught's magnificent dust tail stretched for about 150 million kilometers (~1 AU), requiring images from both southern and northern hemispheres of planet Earth to take it all in.
Movie: Cassini Crosses Saturns Ring Plane
What would the rings of Saturn look like if you passed right through the ring plane? To find out, NASA aimed cameras from the Cassini spacecraft right at Saturn's rings as the robotic explorer passed from the sunlit side of the rings to the shadowed side.
Thors Helmet from CFHT
NGC 2359 is a striking emission nebula with an impressive popular name - Thor's Helmet Sure, its suggestive winged appearance might lead some to refer to it as the "duck nebula", but if you were a nebula which name would you choose?
Movie: A Green Flash Over Italy
How could the Sun turn green? Difficult to observe, the momentary green flash above the rising or setting sun has been documented as a phenomenon caused by the atmospheric bending or refraction of sunlight.
Saturn's Hyperion: A Moon with Odd Craters
What lies at the bottom of Hyperion's strange craters? Nobody knows. To help find out, the robot Cassini spacecraft now orbiting Saturn swooped past the sponge-textured moon in late 2005 and took an image of unprecedented detail.