Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)IC 418: The Spirograph Nebula
What is creating the strange texture of IC 418? Dubbed the Spirograph Nebula for its resemblance to drawings from a cyclical drawing tool, planetary nebula IC 418 shows patterns that are not well understood. Perhaps they are related to chaotic winds from the variable central star, which changes brightness unpredictably in just a few hours.
Spitzer s Orion
Few cosmic vistas excite the imagination like the Orion Nebula, an immense stellar nursery some 1,500 light-years away. Spanning about 40 light-years across the region, this new infrared image from the Spitzer Space...
Discovery s Dawn
On April 5, visitors to Kennedy Space Center saw these colorful clouds, twisting and drifting through dawn skies. Of course, the clouds were rocket engine plumes from the predawn launch of the space shuttle Discovery on the STS-131 mission to the International Space Station.
Discovery s Cloud
The space shuttle orbiter Discovery is now docked with the International Space Station, some 350 kilometers above planet Earth. Last Monday, its launch to orbit was a beautiful one as it rose into clear, predawn skies at 6:21am EDT from Kennedy Space Center's pad 39A.
Venus and Mercury in the West
In this twilight skyview, a windmill stands in silent witness to a lovely pairing of planets in the west. The picture was recorded on April 5 from Gallegos del Campo, Zamora, Spain. Venus (left) and Mercury (right) are near their much anticpated conjunction in the early evening sky.
A Fox Fur, a Unicorn, and a Christmas Tree
What do the following things have in common: a cone, the fur of a fox, and a Christmas tree? Answer: they all occur in the constellation of the unicorn (Monoceros). Pictured above...
What does Saturn's shepherd moon Prometheus really look like? The raw images from the robotic Cassini spacecraft's January flyby of the small moon showed tantalizing clues on grainy images, but now that the Cassini team has digitally remastered these images, many more details have come out.
The Belt of Venus over the Valley of the Moon
Although you've surely seen it, you might not have noticed it. During a cloudless twilight, just before sunrise or after sunset, part of the atmosphere above the horizon appears slightly off-color, slightly pink.
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.
Nestled in the Austrian Alps, frozen Lake Ossiach stretches across the foreground of this serene view. Recorded on March 1, the night sky includes a nearly full Moon and bright planet Saturn seen through thin clouds near picture center. It also includes a remarkably bright and colorful moondog or paraselene at the left.