Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Halo of the Cats Eye
The Cat's Eye Nebula (NGC 6543) is one of the best known planetary nebulae in the sky. Its haunting symmetries are seen in the very central region of this stunning false-color picture, processed...
Comet PanSTARRs and the Galaxies
Comet PanSTARRs, C/2017 T2, shared this stunning telescopic field of view with galaxies M81 and M82 on May 22/23. Of course, the galaxies were some 12 million light-years distant and the comet about 14 light-minutes away, seen in planet Earth's sky toward the Big Dipper.
Dragon over Central Park
Still bathed in sunlight the International Space Station (ISS) arced through this Manhattan evening sky on May 30. Moving left to right, its bright trail was captured in this composite image with a series of 5 second long exposures.
Portrait of NGC 3628
Sharp telescopic views of NGC 3628 show a puffy galactic disk divided by dark dust lanes. Of course, this deep portrait of the magnificent, edge-on spiral galaxy puts some astronomers in mind of its popular moniker, the Hamburger Galaxy.
The Dance of Venus and Earth
Every time Venus passes the Earth, it shows the same face. This remarkable fact has been known for only about 50 years, ever since radio telescopes have been able to peer beneath Venus' thick clouds and track its slowly rotating surface. This inferior conjunction -- when Venus and Earth are the closest -- occurs today.
Novel Coronavirus Attacks Humanity
Humanity is under attack. The attack is not from large tentacle-flailing aliens, but from invaders so small they can barely be seen, and so strange they are not even clearly alive. All over planet Earth, the human home world, DNA-based humans are being invaded by the RNA-based SARS-CoV2.
The Lively Center of the Lagoon Nebula
The center of the Lagoon Nebula is a whirlwind of spectacular star formation. Visible near the image center, at least two long funnel-shaped clouds, each roughly half a light-year long, have been formed by extreme stellar winds and intense energetic starlight. A tremendously bright nearby star, Hershel 36, lights the area.
Aurora over Sweden
It was bright and green and stretched across the sky. This striking aurora display was captured in 2016 just outside of цstersund, Sweden. Six photographic fields were merged to create the featured panorama spanning almost 180 degrees. Particularly striking aspects of this aurora include its sweeping arc-like shape and its stark definition.
Green Flashes: Sun, Moon, Venus, Mercury
Follow a sunset on a clear day against a distant horizon and you might glimpse green just as the Sun disappears from view. The green flash is caused by refraction of light rays traveling to the eye over a long path through the atmosphere.
Mercury Meets Crescent Venus
That's not a bright star and crescent Moon caught between branches of a eucalyptus tree. It's Venus in a crescent phase and Mercury. Near the western horizon after sunset, the two inner planets closely shared this telescopic field of view on May 22, seen from a balcony in Civitavecchia, Italy.