Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Rumors of a Dark Universe
Twenty-one years ago results were first presented indicating that most of the energy in our universe is not in stars or galaxies but is tied to space itself. In the language of cosmologists, a large cosmological constant -- dark energy -- was directly implied by new distant supernova observations.
Mimas in Saturnlight
Peering from the shadows, the Saturn-facing hemisphere of Mimas lies in near darkness alongside a dramatic sunlit crescent. The mosaic was captured near the Cassini spacecraft's final close approach on January 30, 2017. Cassini's camera was pointed in a nearly sunward direction only 45,000 kilometers from Mimas.
Chamaeleon II Dark Cloud
A small constellation hiding near the south celestial pole, The Chamaeleon boasts no bright stars. Stars are forming within its constellation boundaries though, in a complex of dark, dusty molecular clouds. Some 500 light-years...
Elements in the Aftermath
Massive stars spend their brief lives furiously burning nuclear fuel. Through fusion at extreme temperatures and densities surrounding the stellar core, nuclei of light elements ike Hydrogen and Helium are combined to heavier elements like Carbon, Oxygen, etc. in a progression which ends with Iron.
IC 1795: The Fishhead Nebula
To some, this nebula looks like the head of a fish. However, this colorful cosmic portrait really features glowing gas and obscuring dust clouds in IC 1795, a star forming region in the northern constellation Cassiopeia.
Star Forming Region NGC 3582 without Stars
What's happening in the Statue of Liberty nebula? Bright stars and interesting molecules are forming and being liberated. The complex nebula resides in the star forming region called RCW 57, and besides the iconic monument, to some looks like a flying superhero or a weeping angel.
Lightning over the Volcano of Water
Have you ever watched a lightning storm in awe? Join the crowd. Details of what causes lightning are still being researched, but it is known that inside some clouds, internal updrafts cause collisions between ice and snow that slowly separate charges between cloud tops and bottoms The rapid electrical discharges that are lightning soon result.
The North America Nebula in Infrared
The North America Nebula can do what most North Americans cannot -- form stars. Precisely where in the nebula these stars are forming has been mostly obscured by some of the nebula's thick dust that is opaque to visible light.
Chandrayaan 2 Launch
On July 22nd this GSLV (Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle) MkIII rocket vanished from sight into a cloud bank an instant after this dramatic snapshot was taken. Launched from India's Satish Dhawan Space Centre it carried the Chandrayaan 2 mission spacecraft into Earth orbit.
The Veins of Heaven
Transfusing sunlight through a still dark sky, this exceptional display of noctilucent clouds was captured earlier this month, reflected in the calm waters of Vallentuna Lake near Stockholm, Sweden. From the edge of space...