Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Galaxy, Stars, and Dust
Is this galaxy trapped in a web of dust? No -- it is far in the background. However, spiky stars and spooky shapes are abound in this deep cosmic skyscape. Its well-composed field of view covers about a Full Moon on the sky toward the constellation Pegasus.
In the Center of the Trifid Nebula
Clouds of glowing gas mingle with dust lanes in the Trifid Nebula, a star forming region toward the constellation of the Archer (Sagittarius). In the center, the three prominent dust lanes that give the Trifid its name all come together.
Stardust in Perseus
This cosmic expanse of dust, gas, and stars covers some 6 degrees on the sky in the heroic constellation Perseus. At upper left in the gorgeous skyscape is the intriguing young star cluster IC 348 and neighboring Flying Ghost Nebula.
The Moon Entering Earth s Shadow
On September 27/28, from all over the planet's nightside moon watchers enjoyed a total lunar eclipse. The dramatic celestial spectacle was widely imaged, but this lunar eclipse picture may look a little strange and unfamiliar, made with a point and shoot camera of a bygone era.
M83: The Thousand Ruby Galaxy
Big, bright, and beautiful, spiral galaxy M83 lies a mere twelve million light-years away, near the southeastern tip of the very long constellation Hydra. Prominent spiral arms traced by dark dust lanes and blue star clusters lend this galaxy its popular name, The Southern Pinwheel.
La Palma Eclipse Sequence
At left, a dramatic image sequence follows late September's total lunar eclipse above a rugged landscape and sea of clouds from the Canary island of La Palma. Composited in a circular fisheye projection...
Flying Past Pluto
What would it look like to fly past Pluto? The robotic New Horizons spacecraft did just this in late July and continues to return stunning pictures of the dwarf planet. Some well-chosen flyby images have now been digitally sequenced to create the featured video.
Orion Over and Under Tibet
This night was so serene you could see Orion rise downwards. The unusual spectacle was captured in this single-exposure image, featuring a deep sky around the famous constellation of Orion that appeared both above -- and reflected in -- a peaceful lake in the Gyirong Valley of Tibet, China.
The Sombrero Galaxy in Infrared
This floating ring is the size of a galaxy. In fact, it is a galaxy -- or at least part of one: the photogenic Sombrero Galaxy, one of the largest galaxies in the nearby Virgo Cluster of Galaxies.
A Blue Blood Moon
This sharp telescopic snapshot caught late September's Harvest Moon completely immersed in Earth's dark umbral shadow, at the beginning of a total lunar eclipse. It was the final eclipse in a tetrad, a string of four consecutive total lunar eclipses.