Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)The Barren Moon
The above photo, taken as the Apollo 17 astronauts orbited the Moon in 1972, depicts the stark lunar surface around the Eratosthenes and Copernicus craters. Many similar images of a Moon devoid of life are familiar to denizens of the space age.
Grand Design Spiral Galaxy NGC 2997
NGC 2997 is a grand design spiral galaxy. Its small nucleus and sprawling spiral arms give it a type "Sc" designation. NGC 2997 is speeding away from us at about 1100 kilometers...
Io Full Face
Io is a colorful place. The closest large moon of Jupiter, Io is the most volcanic moon in the Solar System with its surface being completely buried in volcanic lava every few thousand years.
The Weather on Neptune
Today's weather on Neptune will be typical. Highs in the upper atmosphere will be about -150 Centigrade, with winds ranging about 900 miles per hour near the equator. Much was learned recently about Neptune's weather by the release last week of time-lapse pictures of the most distant gas giant in our Solar System.
Io's Active Volcanoes
Why is Io green at night? In this just-released nighttime picture of Jupiter's moon Io, the red spots clearly show Io's current volcanically active regions. But what is causing the global green sheen? This telling picture was taken by the automated Galileo spacecraft currently orbiting Jupiter while Io was in Jupiter's shadow.
Mir Over New Zealand
The Russian space station Mir was photographed last month high above New Zealand. Before returning with record-breaking astronaut Shannon Lucid, the space shuttle Atlantis crew took this breathtaking view from the Space Shuttle Atlantis. Atlantis had just undocked from Mir and was preparing to return to Earth.
A Flyby View of Ganymede
This is what it would look like to fly over the surface of Jupiter's moon Ganymede. NASA's robot spacecraft Galileo recently approached only 6000 miles from this frozen ice-ball of a moon. The above image is a digital reconstruction from two images taken during this flyby.
Starbirth in the Lagoon Nebula
Stars are forming even today in the Lagoon Nebula. This bright nebula is visible in the constellation of Sagittarius with binoculars. The above photo is the result of a new sensitive camera being attached to one of the world's largest telescopes.
The Large Cloud of Magellan (LMC)
Magellan and his crew had plenty of time to study the southern sky during their famous voyage around the world. As a result, two fuzzy cloud like objects in the southern sky are now known as the Clouds of Magellan. These star clouds are small irregular galaxies, satellites of our larger Milky Way spiral galaxy.
The Cracked Ice Plains of Europa
What caused the cracks in this giant ice-ball? Jupiter's moon Europa has smoothest surface in the solar system and is composed mostly of cracked water-ice. In the above false-colored picture released last week...