Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Crescents of Venus
Just as the Moon goes through phases, Venus' visible sunlit hemisphere waxes and wanes. This sequence of telescopic images illustrates the steady changes for Venus during its recent 2023 apparition as our evening star. Gliding along its interior orbit between Earth and Sun, Venus grows larger during that period because it is approaching planet Earth.
A Season of Saturn
Ringed planet Saturn will be at its 2023 opposition, opposite the Sun in Earth's skies, on August 27. While that puts the sixth planet from the Sun at its brightest and well-placed for viewing, its beautiful ring system isn't visible to the unaided eye.
Meteors along the Milky Way
Under dark and mostly moonless night skies, many denizens of planet Earth were able to watch this year's Perseid meteor shower. Seen from a grassy hillside from Shiraz, Iran these Perseid meteors streak along the northern summer Milky Way before dawn on Sunday, August 13.
APOD: 2023 August 23 Б The Meteor and the Galaxy
It came from outer space. It -- in this case a sand-sized bit of a comet nucleus -- was likely ejected many years ago from Sun-orbiting Comet Swift-Tuttle, but then continued to orbit the Sun alone.
APOD: 2023 August 22 Б The Pistachio Nebula
This nebula had never been noted before. Newly discovered nebulas are usually angularly small and found by professionals using large telescopes. In contrast, the Pistachio Nebula was discovered by dedicated amateurs and, although faint, is nearly the size of the full Moon.
APOD: 2023 August 21 Б Introducing Comet Nishimura
Will Comet Nishimura become visible to the unaided eye? Given the unpredictability of comets, no one can say for sure, but it currently seems like a good bet. The comet was discovered only ten days ago by Hideo Nishimura during 30-second exposures with a standard digital camera.
APOD: 2023 August 20 Б A Roll Cloud Over Wisconsin
What kind of cloud is this? A type of arcus cloud called a roll cloud. These rare long clouds may form near advancing cold fronts. In particular, a downdraft from an advancing storm front can cause moist warm air to rise, cool below its dew point, and so form a cloud.
Ringed Ice Giant Neptune
Ringed ice giant Neptune lies near the center of this sharp near-infrared image from the James Webb Space Telescope. The dim and distant world is the farthest planet from the Sun, about 30 times farther away than planet Earth.
Gaze across the frozen canyons of northern Pluto in this contrast enhanced color scene. The image data used to construct it was acquired in July 2015 by the New Horizons spacecraft as it made the first reconnaissance flight through the remote Pluto system six billion kilometers from the Sun.
A Cosmic Zoo in Cepheus
Sprawling emission nebulae IC 1396 and Sh2-129 mix glowing interstellar gas and dark dust clouds in this nearly 12 degree wide field of view toward the northern constellation Cepheus the King. Energized by its central star IC 1396 (left), is hundreds of light-years across and some 3,000 light-years distant.