Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)A Milky Way Band
Most bright stars in our Milky Way Galaxy reside in a disk. Since our Sun also resides in this disk, these stars appear to us as a diffuse band that circles the sky.
Dawn Launch Mosaic
Shortly after sunrise on Thursday at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the Dawn spacecraft began its journey to the asteroid belt, arcing eastward into a blue and cloudy sky. Dawn's voyage began on a conventional, chemically fueled Delta II rocket, but will continue with an innovative ion propulsion system.
A Hole in Mars Close Up
In a close-up from the HiRISE instrument onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, this mysterious dark pit, about 150 meters across, lies on the north slope of ancient martian volcano Arsia Mons. Lacking raised rims...
Hole in the Sun
The dark expanse below the equator of the Sun is a coronal hole -- a low density region extending above the surface where the solar magnetic field opens freely into interplanetary space. Shown in false color, the picture was recorded on September 19th in extreme ultraviolet light by the EIT instrument onboard the space-based SOHO observatory.
A Full Moon rising can be a dramatic celestial sight, and Full Moons can have many names. For example, tonight's Full Moon, the one nearest the autumnal equinox in the northern hemisphere, is popularly called the Harvest Moon.
Zodiacal Light and the False Dawn
An unusual triangle of light will be particularly bright near the eastern horizon before sunrise during the next two months for observers in Earth's northern hemisphere. Once considered a false dawn, this triangle of light is actually Zodiacal Light, light reflected from interplanetary dust particles.
A Galactic Star Forming Region in Infrared
How do stars form? To help study this complex issue, astronomers took a deep image in infrared light of an active part of our Milky Way Galaxy where star formation is rampant. In IRDC G11.11-0
The Equal Night
Today, the Sun crosses the celestial equator heading south at 0951 UT. Known as the equinox, the astronomical event marks the first day of autumn in the northern hemisphere and spring in the south.
Pangea Ultima: Earth in 250 Million Years
Is this what will become of the Earth's surface? The surface of the Earth is broken up into several large plates that are slowly shifting. About 250 million years ago, the plates...
Coronet in the Southern Crown
X-rays from young stars and infrared light from stars and cosmic dust are combined in this false color image of a star-forming region in Corona Australis, the Southern Crown. The small star grouping is fittingly known as the Coronet Cluster.