Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)The Fainting of Betelgeuse
Begirt with many a blazing star, Orion the Hunter is one of the most recognizable constellations. In this night skyscape the Hunter's stars rise in the northern hemisphere's winter sky on December 30, 2019, tangled in bare trees near Newnan, Georgia, USA.
Why is Betelgeuse fading? No one knows. Betelgeuse, one of the brightest and most recognized stars in the night sky, is only half as bright as it used to be only five months ago.
M33: The Triangulum Galaxy
The small, northern constellation Triangulum harbors this magnificent face-on spiral galaxy, M33. Its popular names include the Pinwheel Galaxy or just the Triangulum Galaxy. M33 is over 50,000 light-years in diameter, third largest in the Local Group of galaxies after the Andromeda Galaxy (M31), and our own Milky Way.
Messier 20 and 21
The beautiful Trifid Nebula, also known as Messier 20, is easy to find with a small telescope in the nebula rich constellation Sagittarius. About 5,000 light-years away, the colorful study in cosmic contrasts shares this well-composed, nearly 1 degree wide field with open star cluster Messier 21 (top left).
Cassini Spacecraft Crosses Saturns Ring Plane
If this is Saturn, where are the rings? When Saturn's "appendages" disappeared in 1612, Galileo did not understand why. Later that century, it became understood that Saturn's unusual protrusions were rings and that when the Earth crosses the ring plane, the edge-on rings will appear to disappear.
A Distorted Sunrise Eclipse
Yes, but have you ever seen a sunrise like this? Here, after initial cloudiness, the Sun appeared to rise in two pieces and during partial eclipse, causing the photographer to describe it as the most stunning sunrise of his life.
A Partial Solar Eclipse Sequence Reflected
What's happened to the Sun? Yesterday, if you were in the right place at the right time, you could see the Sun rise partially eclipsed by the Moon. The unusual sight was captured...
The Northern Winter Hexagon
December's New Moon brought a solar eclipse to some for the holiday season. It also gave beautiful dark night skies to skygazers around the globe, like this moonless northern winter night. In the scene, bright stars of the Winter Hexagon along the Milky Way are rising.
An Annular Solar Eclipse over New Mexico
What is this person doing? In 2012 an annular eclipse of the Sun was visible over a narrow path that crossed the northern Pacific Ocean and several western US states. In an annular solar...
A Northern Winter Sky Panorama
What stars shine in Earth's northern hemisphere during winter? The featured image highlights a number of bright stars visible earlier this month. The image is a 360-degree horizontal-composite panorama of 66 vertical frames taken consecutively with the same camera and from the same location at about 2:30 am.