Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)SN Refsdal: The First Predicted Supernova Image
It's back. Never before has an observed supernova been predicted. The unique astronomical event occurred in the field of galaxy cluster MACS J1149.5+2223. Most bright spots in the featured image are galaxies in this cluster.
A Dark Earth with a Red Sprite
There is something very unusual in this picture of the Earth -- can you find it? A fleeting phenomenon once thought to be only a legend has been newly caught if you know just where to look.
Star Streams and the Whale Galaxy
NGC 4631 is a spiral galaxy found only 25 million light-years away, toward the well-trained northern constellation Canes Venatici. Seen ege-on, the galaxy is similar in size to the Milky Way. Its distorted wedge shape suggests to some a cosmic herring and to others its popular moniker, The Whale Galaxy.
Herbig Haro 24
This might look like a double-bladed lightsaber, but these two cosmic jets actually beam outward from a newborn star in a galaxy near you. Constructed from Hubble Space Telescope image data, the stunning scene...
Geminids of the South
Earth's annual Geminid meteor shower did not disappoint, peaking before dawn on December 14 as our fair planet plowed through dust from active asteroid 3200 Phaethon. Captured in this southern hemisphere nightscape the meteors stream away from the shower's radiant in Gemini.
The Horsehead Nebula
The Horsehead Nebula is one of the most famous nebulae on the sky. It is visible as the dark indentation to the red emission nebula in the center of the above photograph. The horse-head feature is dark because it is really an opaque dust cloud that lies in front of the bright red emission nebula.
Colorful Arcs over Buenos Aires
What are those colorful arcs in the sky? Like rainbows that are caused by rain, arcs of sunlight broken up into component colors can also result when ice crystals floating in Earth's atmosphere act together as a gigantic prism.
Pluto: From Mountains to Plains
What do the sharpest views ever of Pluto show? As the robotic New Horizons spacecraft moves into the outer Solar System, it is now sending back some of the highest resolution images from its historic encounter with Pluto in July. Featured here is one recently-received, high-resolution image.
When Gemini Sends Stars to Paranal
From a radiant point in the constellation of the Twins, the annual Geminid meteor shower rain down on planet Earth. Tonight, the Geminds reach their peak and could be quite spectacular. The featured blended image, however, captured the shower's impressive peak in the year 2012.
Comet Meets Moon and Morning Star
A crescent Moon and brilliant Venus met in predawn skies on December 7, a beautiful conjunction of planet Earth's two brightest celestial beacons after the Sun. Harder to see but also on the scene was Comet Catalina (C/2013 US10).