Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Methuselah Nebula MWP1
The lovely, symmetric planetary nebula cataloged as MWP1 lies some 4,500 light-years away in the northern constellation Cygnus the Swan. One of the largest planetary nebulae known, it spans about 15 light-years. Based...
Venus Just After Sunset
Is that Venus or an airplane? A common ponderable for sky enthusiasts is deciding if that bright spot near the horizon is the planet Venus. Usually, an airplane will show itself by moving significantly in a few moments. Venus will set only slowly as the Earth turns.
Prometheus Rising Through Saturns F Ring
What is that dark streak below Prometheus? Although it may look like a shadow or a trail blazed by sweeping up material, computer simulations indicate that the dark streak is better understood as an empty path pulled away by the gravity of Saturn's small moon.
It Came from the Sun
What's that coming over the edge of the Sun? What might appear at first glance to be some sort of Sun monster is actually a solar prominence. The above prominence, captured...
NGC 346 in the Small Magellanic Cloud
How and why are all these stars forming? Found among the Small Magellanic Cloud's (SMC's) clusters and nebulae NGC 346 is a star forming region about 200 light-years across, pictured above by the Hubble Space Telescope.
The Large Cloud of Magellan
The 16th century Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan and his crew had plenty of time to study the southern sky during the first circumnavigation of planet Earth. As a result, two fuzzy cloud-like objects easily...
Vista with NGC 2170
Drifting through the one-horned constellation Monoceros, these dusty streamers and new born stars are part of the active Monoceros R2 star-forming region, embedded in a giant molecular cloud. The cosmic scene was recorded by the VISTA survey telescope in near-infrared light.
Clusters, Hartley, and the Heart
An alluring Comet Hartley 2 cruised through planet Earth's night sky on October 8, passing within about a Full Moon's width of the famous double star cluster in Perseus. The much anticipated...
Science Museum Hubble
Will the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) end up in a museum? Probably not, as when it finally goes bust, current plans call for it to be de-orbited into an ocean. But this...
Saturn: Light, Dark, and Strange
What's creating those dark bands on Saturn? Sometimes it takes a little sleuthing to figure out the how and why of a picture taken by the Saturn-orbiting Cassini spacecraft. Let's see. That large orb on the left must be Saturn itself. Those arcs on the right are surely the rings.