Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Milky Way and Zodiacal Light over Chile
What is the band of light connecting the ground to the Milky Way? Zodiacal light -- a stream of dust that orbits the Sun in the inner Solar System. It is most easily seen just before sunrise, where it has been called a false dawn, or just after sunset.
Wolf Rayet Star 124: Stellar Wind Machine
Some stars explode in slow motion. Rare, massive Wolf-Rayet stars are so tumultuous and hot that they are slowly disintegrating right before our telescopes. Glowing gas globs each typically over 30 times more massive than the Earth are being expelled by violent stellar winds.
Pic du Midi Panorama
A surreal night skyscape, this panorama stitched from 12 photos looks to the west at an evening winter sky over Pic du Midi Observatory, Pyrenees Mountains, Planet Earth. Telescope domes and a tall communications tower inhabit the rugged foreground.
Mars Panorama from Curiosity
The Mars Rover named Curiosity recorded high-resolution, 360 degree views of its location on Mars late last year. The panoramic scene was stitched from over 1,000 images from Curiosity's Mast camera or Mastcam.
The Light, the Dark, and the Dusty
This colorful skyscape spans about four full moons across nebula rich starfields along the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy in the royal northern constellation Cepheus. Near the edge of the region's massive...
The Slow Dance of Galaxies NGC 5394 and 5395
If you like slow dances, then this may be one for you. A single turn in this dance takes several hundred million years. Two galaxies, NGC 5394 and NGC 5395, slowly whirl about each other in a gravitational interaction that sets off a flourish of sparks in the form of new stars.
Apollo 13 Views of the Moon
What if the only way to get back to Earth was to go around the far side of the Moon? Such was the dilemma of the Apollo 13 Crew in 1970 as they tried to return home in their unexpectedly damaged spacecraft.
Sharpless 308: The Dolphin Nebula
Blown by fast winds from a hot, massive star, this cosmic bubble is much larger than the dolphin it appears to be. Cataloged as Sharpless 2-308 it lies some 5,200 light-years away toward the constellation of the Big Dog (Canis Major) and covers slightly more of the sky than a Full Moon.
A Hole in Mars
What created this unusual hole in Mars? The hole was discovered by chance in 2011 on images of the dusty slopes of Mars' Pavonis Mons volcano taken by the HiRISE instrument aboard the robotic Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter currently circling Mars.
Julius Caesar and Leap Days
In 46 BC Julius Caesar reformed the calendar system. Based on advice by astronomer Sosigenes of Alexandria, the Julian calendar included one leap day every four years to account for the fact that an Earth year is slightly more than 365 days long.