Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)IC 2118: The Witch Head Nebula
Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble -- maybe Macbeth should have consulted the Witch Head Nebula. This suggestively shaped reflection nebula is associated with the bright star Rigel in the constellation Orion.
Apollo 17 Panorama: Astronaut Running
What would it be like to explore the surface of another world? In 1972 during the Apollo 17 mission, astronaut Harrison Schmitt found out first hand. In this case, the world was Earth's own Moon.
Three Planets in Dawn Skies
Three children of the Sun rise in the east in this peaceful dawn skyview recorded December 7th near Bolu, Turkey. Inner planet Mercury, fresh from its second transit of the 21st century, stands highest in the bright sky at the top right. Gas giant Jupiter lies below the cloud bank near picture center.
NGC 2174: Emission Nebula in Orion
A lesser known sight in the nebula-rich constellation Orion, NGC 2174 can be found with binoculars near the head of the celestial hunter. About 6,400 light-years distant, the glowing cosmic cloud surrounds loose clusters of young stars.
The Outskirts of M77
Face-on spiral galaxy M77 lies a mere 60 million light-years away toward the constellation Cetus. Also known as NGC 1068, it's very bright core is well studied by astronomers exploring the mysteries of supermassive black holes in active galaxies.
Spirit Rover on Mars Imaged from Orbit
If you have the right equipment, you can see the Spirit rover currently rolling across Mars. The right equipment, however, is currently limited to the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). MRO arrived at Mars in March and just started science observations of the red planet last month.
The Antikythera Mechanism
What is it? It was found at the bottom of the sea aboard an ancient Greek ship. Its seeming complexity has prompted decades of study, although many of its functions remained unknown. Recent X-rays of the device have now confirmed the nature of the Antikythera mechanism, and discovered several surprising functions.
Movie: The Active Sun
Plumes of hot gas shoot across the surface on even an average day on the Sun. Such volatile activity was captured in dramatic detail recently by the new Hinode satellite launched by Japan in late September.
Phobos: Doomed Moon of Mars
This moon is doomed. Mars, the red planet named for the Roman god of war, has two tiny moons, Phobos and Deimos, whose names are derived from the Greek for Fear and Panic. These...
Star Trails at 19 000 Feet
In myth, Atlas holds up the heavens, but in this stunning view a mountain appears to serve as the southern night sky pivots around a snowy peak. Recorded during a climbing expedition...