Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)A Laser Strike at the Galactic Center
Why are these people shooting a powerful laser into the center of our Galaxy? Fortunately, this is not meant to be the first step in a Galactic war. Rather, astronomers at the Very Large Telescope (VLT) site in Chile are trying to measure the distortions of Earth's ever changing atmosphere.
The Four Suns of HD 98800
How would it look to have four suns in the sky? Planets of the HD 98800 system, if they exist, would experience such a view. HD 98800 is a multiple star system about 150 light years from Earth -- right in our section of the Milky Way Galaxy.
The Center of Centaurus A
A fantastic jumble of young blue star clusters, gigantic glowing gas clouds, and imposing dark dust lanes surrounds the central region of the active galaxy Centaurus A. This mosaic of Hubble Space Telescope images taken in blue, green, and red light has been processed to present a natural color picture of this cosmic maelstrom.
The brilliant full Moon might not look quite like this to skygazers next Monday, but the image is a mosaic of 18 digital frames recorded when the Moon was only about seven hours past its exact full phase or time of maximum illumination as viewed from Earth.
The Tidal Tail of NGC 3628
A mere 30 million light-years away, large spiral galaxy NGC 3628 (center) shares its neighborhood in the local Universe with two other large spirals, in a magnificent grouping otherwise known as the Leo Triplett.
Hot Stars in the Rosette Nebula
Winds and radiation from massive hot stars in the Rosette Nebula have cleared the natal gas and dust from the center of the nearby star-forming region. They also pose a danger to planet forming disks around young, cooler stars in the neighborhood.
Global Dust Storms Threaten Mars Rovers
Will global dust storms terminate the robotic Martian rovers? Over the past month, windy dust storms have blocked much needed sunlight from reaching the solar panels of both the Spirit and Opportunity rovers exploring Mars.
Spiral Galaxy M83: The Southern Pinwheel
M83 is one of the closest and brightest spiral galaxies on the sky. Visible with binoculars in the constellation of Hydra, majestic spiral arms have prompted its nickname as the Southern Pinwheel. Although discovered...
Verona Rupes: Tallest Known Cliff in the Solar System
Could you survive a jump off the tallest cliff in the Solar System? Quite possibly. Verona Rupes on Uranus' moon Miranda is estimated to be 20 kilometers deep -- ten times the depth of the Earth's Grand Canyon.
The Flight Of Helios
An example of solar-powered flight, NASA's Helios aircraft flew almost one hundred years after the Wright brothers' historic flight on December 17, 1903. Pictured here at 10,000 feet in in skies northwest of Kauai, Hawaii in August 2001, the remotely piloted Helios is traveling at about 25 miles per hour.