Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)APOD: 2023 February 5 Б Enceladus by Saturnshine
This moon is shining by the light of its planet. Specifically, a large portion of Enceladus pictured here is illuminated primarily by sunlight first reflected from the planet Saturn. The result is that the normally snow-white moon appears in the gold color of Saturn's cloud tops.
NGC 2626 along the Vela Molecular Ridge
Centered in this colorful cosmic canvas, NGC 2626 is a beautiful, bright, blue reflection nebula in the southern Milky Way. Next to an obscuring dust cloud and surrounded by reddish hydrogen emission from large H II region RCW 27 it lies within a complex of dusty molecular clouds known as the Vela Molecular Ridge.
Polaris and the Trail of Comet ZTF
Stars trace concentric arcs around the North Celestial Pole in this three hour long night sky composite, recorded with a digital camera fixed to a tripod on January 31, near цger, Lleida, Spain. On that date Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) was near its northernmost declination in planet Earth's sky.
Reflections on the 1970s
The 1970s are sometimes ignored by astronomers, like this beautiful grouping of reflection nebulae in Orion - NGC 1977, NGC 1975, and NGC 1973 - usually overlooked in favor of the substantial glow from the nearby stellar nursery better known as the Orion Nebula.
APOD: 2023 February 1 Б The Seventh World of Trappist 1
Seven worlds orbit the ultracool dwarf star TRAPPIST-1. A mere 40 light-years away, many of the exoplanets were discovered in 2016 using the Transiting Planets and Planetesimals Small Telescope (TRAPPIST) located in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco, and later confirmed with telescope including NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.
APOD: 2023 January 31 Б A Triple View of Comet ZTF
Comet ZTF has a distinctive shape. The now bright comet visiting the inner Solar System has been showing not only a common dust tail, ion tail, and green gas coma, but also an uncommonly distinctive antitail.
APOD: 2023 January 30 Б Globular Star Cluster NGC 6355 from Hubble
Globular clusters once ruled the Milky Way. Back in the old days, back when our Galaxy first formed, perhaps thousands of globular clusters roamed our Galaxy. Today, there are less than 200 left. Over the eons, many globular clusters were destroyed by repeated fateful encounters with each other or the Galactic center.
APOD: 2023 January 29 Б Barnard 68: Dark Molecular Cloud
Where did all the stars go? What used to be considered a hole in the sky is now known to astronomers as a dark molecular cloud. Here, a high concentration of dust and molecular gas absorb practically all the visible light emitted from background stars.
Comet ZTF over Mount Etna
Comet-like plumes are blowing over the volcanic peaks of Mount Etna in this wintry mountain-and-skyscape from planet Earth. The stacked and blended combination of individual exposures recorded during the cold night of January 23, also capture naked-eye Comet ZTF just above Etna's snowy slopes.
Comet ZTF: Orbital Plane Crossing
The current darling of the northern night, Comet C/2022 E3 ZTF is captured in this telescopic image from a dark sky location at June Lake, California. Of course Comet ZTF has been growing brighter in recent days, headed for its closest approach to Earth on February 1.