Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Eyeful of Saturn
Now a bright speck of light wandering through Earth's night sky, magnificent planet Saturn lies nearly 1.5 billion kilometers from the Sun. But after an interplanetary voyage of seven years the planet's stunning rings nearly fill the field of the Cassini spacecraft's narrow angle camera in this image recorded on March 27.
Titan s X Ray
This June's rare and much heralded transit of Venus will feature our currently brilliant evening star in silhouette, as the inner planet glides across the face of the Sun. But on January 5, 2003 and even rarer transit took place.
The Smooth Spheres of Gravity Probe B
Does gravity have a magnetic counterpart? Spin any electric charge and you get a magnetic field. Spin any mass and, according to Einstein, you should get a very slight effect that acts something like magnetism. This effect is expected to be so small that it is beyond practical experience and even beyond laboratory measurement.
Comet Bradfield Rising
Comet Bradfield has become quite a sight just before sunrise -- for those with binoculars or cameras. Although fading noticeably each day, a sky chart, a northern location, and some persistence will allow curious sky gazers to locate the cosmic snowball and its spectacular tail.
Ring Galaxy AM 0644 741 from Hubble
How could a galaxy become shaped like a ring? The rim of the blue galaxy pictured on the right is an immense ring-like structure 150,000 light years in diameter composed of newly formed, extremely bright, massive stars.
D rad Bacteria: Candidate Astronauts
These bacteria could survive on another planet. In an Earth lab, Deinococcus radiodurans (D. rad) survive extreme levels of radiation, extreme temperatures, dehydration, and exposure to genotoxic chemicals. Amazingly, they even have the ability to repair their own DNA, usually with 48 hours. Known as an extremophile, bacteria such as D.
M27: Not A Comet
While searching the skies above 18th century France for comets, astronomer Charles Messier diligently recorded this object as number 27 on his list of things which are definitely not comets. So what is it?
Comet C 2001 Q4 (NEAT)
Inbound from the distant solar system, comet C/2001 Q4 will soon pass just inside planet Earth's orbit and should be one of two bright, naked-eye comets visible in southern skies in May. First...
Comet C 2002 T7 (LINEAR)
Discovered by the the Lincoln Near Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR) project in October of 2002, comet C/2002 T7 is now visiting the inner solar system, making its closest approach (see animation by L. Koehn) to the Sun tomorrow, April 23rd.
Nebulas Surrounding Wolf Rayet Binary BAT99 49
How could two young stars power these colorful interstellar gas clouds? Although hidden by thick dust, the stars spew forceful ions and energetic radiation that cause the clouds to fragment and light up.