Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)The Mysterious Voynich Manuscript
The ancient text has no known title, no known author, and is written in no known language: what does it say and why does it have many astronomy illustrations? The mysterious book was once bought by an emperor, forgotten on a library shelf, sold for thousands of dollars, and later donated to Yale.
Charles Messier described the 88th entry in his 18th century catalog of Nebulae and Star Clusters as a spiral nebula without stars. Of course the gorgeous M88 is now understood to be a galaxy full of stars, gas, and dust, not unlike our own Milky Way.
Mars Opposition 2010
Mars is at opposition tonight, opposite the Sun in planet Earth's sky. Of course, it will be easy to spot because Mars appears close to tonight's Full Moon, also opposite the Sun in Earth's night sky in the constellation Cancer.
Kemble s Cascade
An asterism is just a recognized pattern of stars that is not one the 88 official constellations. For example, one of the most famous (and largest) asterisms is the Big Dipper within the constellation Ursa Major.
Tethys Behind Titan
What's that behind Titan? It's another of Saturn's moons: Tethys. The robotic Cassini spacecraft orbiting Saturn captured the heavily cratered Tethys slipping behind Saturn's atmosphere-shrouded Titan late last year. The largest crater on Tethys, Odysseus, is easily visible on the distant moon.
Annular Eclipse Over Myanmar
A hole crossed the Sun for a few minutes this month, as seen across a thin swath of planet Earth. The event on January 15 was actually an annular solar eclipse, and the hole was really Earth's Moon, an object whose dark half may appear even darker when compared to the tremendously bright Sun.
The Magellanic Stream
Spanning the sky toward the majestic Clouds of Magellan is an unusual stream of gas: the Magellanic Stream. The origin of this gas remains unknown but likely hold a clue to origin and fate of our Milky Way's most famous satellite galaxies: the LMC and the SMC.
Watch Jupiter Rotate
What would it be like to coast by Jupiter and watch it rotate? This was just the experience of the New Horizons spacecraft as it approached and flew by Jupiter in 2007. Clicking on the image will bring up a movie of what the robotic spacecraft saw.
Eclipses in the Shade
Eclipses are everywhere in this shady scene. The picture was taken on the Indian Ocean atoll island of Ellaidhoo, Maldives, on January 15, during the longest annular solar eclipse for the next 1,000 years. Tall palm trees provided the shade.
Millennium Annular Solar Eclipse
The Moon's shadow raced across planet Earth on January 15. Observers within the central shadow track were able to witness an annular solar eclipse as the Moon's apparent size was too small to completely cover the Sun.