Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)A Tether in Space
One of the greatest unrequited legends of outer space is the tether. Tethers, long strands of material, hold the promise of stabilizing satellites, generating electricity, and allowing easy transportation. Possibly the most extreme vision of the space tether is the space elevator popularized by Arthur C.
The Einstein Cross Gravitational Lens
Most galaxies have a single nucleus -- does this galaxy have four? The strange answer leads astronomers to conclude that the nucleus of the surrounding galaxy is not even visible in this image. The central cloverleaf is rather light emitted from a background quasar.
(xxxre linkxxx) The Crab Pulsar, a city-sized, magnetized neutron star spinning 30 times a second, lies at the center of this composite image of the inner region of the well-known Crab Nebula. The spectacular...
Huygens Discovers Luna Saturni
In 1655, three hundred fifty years ago on this date, Dutch astronomer Christiaan Huygens discovered Luna Saturni - now known as Saturn's moon Titan. To celebrate, consider this intriguing picture of his telescope lens, all that remains of the instrument he used, designed and constructed in collaboration with his brother, Constantijn Huygens.
Simeis 147: Supernova Remnant
It's easy to get lost following the intricate filaments in this detailed image of faint supernova remnant Simeis 147. Seen towards the constellation Taurus it covers nearly 3 degrees (6 full moons) on the sky corresponding to a width of 150 light-years at the stellar debris cloud's estimated distance of 3,000 light-years.
A Dust Devil Swirling on Mars
What is that wisp on the horizon? Scientists think that the slight white apparition is actually a Martian dust devil that was caught swirling across Mars. The above image was taken earlier this month by the robotic rover Spirit.
To Fly Free in Space
At about 100 meters from the cargo bay of the space shuttle Challenger, Bruce McCandless II was further out than anyone had ever been before. Guided by a Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU), astronaut McCandless, pictured above, was floating free in space.
Orions Horsehead Nebula
The Horsehead Nebula is one of the most famous nebulae on the sky. It is visible as the dark indentation to the red emission nebula seen above and to the right of center in the above photograph. The bright star on the left is located in the belt of the familiar constellation of Orion.
The Equal Night
Today, the Sun crosses the celestial equator heading north, marking the Vernal Equinox -- the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere and autumn in the south. Equinox means equal night and with the Sun on the celestial equator, Earthlings will experience 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness.
NGC 2266: Old Cluster in the New General Catalog
The New General Catalog of star clusters and nebulae really isn't so new. In fact, it was published in 1888 - an attempt by J. L. E. Dreyer to consolidate the work of astronomers William, Caroline, and John Herschel along with others into a useful single, complete catalog of astronomical discoveries and measurements.