Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Tyrrhenian Sea and Solstice Sky
Today the solstice occurs at 23:38 Universal Time, the Sun reaching its southernmost declination in planet Earth's sky. Of course, the December solstice marks the beginning of winter in the northern hemisphere and summer in the south.
A Lunar Eclipse on Solstice Day
Sometime after sunset tonight, the Moon will go dark. This total lunar eclipse, where the entire Moon is engulfed in the shadow of the Earth, will be visible from all of North America, while the partial phase of this eclipse will be visible throughout much of the rest of the world.
M82: Galaxy with a Supergalactic Wind
What's lighting up the Cigar Galaxy? M82, as this irregular galaxy is also known, was stirred up by a recent pass near large spiral galaxy M81. This doesn't fully explain the source of the red-glowing outwardly expanding gas, however.
North America and the Pelican
Here lie familiar shapes in unfamiliar locations. On the left is an emission nebula cataloged as NGC 7000, famous partly because it resembles our fair planet's continent of North America. The emission region to the right of the North America Nebula is IC 5070, also known for its suggestive outlines as the Pelican Nebula.
A Meteor Moment
Intensely bright, this fireball meteor flashed through Tuesday's cold, clear, early morning skies over the Karakas Mountains in central Iran, near the peak of the annual Geminid Meteor Shower. To capture the meteor moment and wintery night skyscape, the photographer's camera was fixed to a tripod, its shutter open for about 1.5 minutes.
Geminids over Kit Peak
Two large telescope domes stand in the foreground of this night sky view from Kitt Peak National Observatory, near Tucson, Arizona, USA. The dramatic scene was recorded early Tuesday morning, near the peak of December's Geminid Meteor Shower.
A Huge Solar Filament Erupts
Click the arrow and watch an unusually long filament explode out from the Sun. The filament had been seen hovering over the Sun's surface for over a week before it erupted earlier this month.
Launch of a Delta IV Heavy
It is the tallest rocket in active use. The Delta IV Heavy is the largest of the Delta series, packing the punch of three rocket boosters instead of the usual one. The resulting rocket...
Contemplating the Sky
Have you contemplated your sky recently? Tonight will be a good one for midnight meditators at many northerly locations as meteors from the Geminids meteor shower will frequently streak through. The Geminds meteor shower has slowly been building to a crescendo and should peak tonight.
Leonids Above Torre de la Guaita
In 1999, Leonids Meteor Shower came to an impressive crescendo. Observers in Europe saw a sharp peak in the number of meteors visible around 0210 UTC during the early morning hours of November 18. Meteor counts then exceeded 1000 per hour - the minimum needed to define a true meteor storm.