Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)An Apollo 15 Panorama: Astronaut Exploring
What would it be like to explore the Moon? NASA's Apollo missions gave humans just this chance in the late 1960s and early 1970s. In particular, the Apollo 15 mission was dedicated to better understanding the surface of the Moon by exploring mountains, valleys, maria, and highlands.
Night skies over Chilean mountain top observatories can be dark and clear, with glorious cosmic vistas. In this recent example, the plane of our Milky Way galaxy stretches parallel to the horizon, the galactic center's star clusters, dark dust clouds, and glowing nebulae hovering in the west.
Probably a Planet for Beta Pic
A mere 50 light-years away, young star Beta Pictoris became one of the most important stars in the sky in the early 1980s. Satellite and ground-based telescopic observations revealed the presence of a surrounding...
Galaxies in the River
Large galaxies grow by eating small ones. Even our own galaxy practices galactic cannibalism, absorbing small galaxies that get too close and are captured by the Milky Way's gravity. In fact, the practice...
The Horsehead Nebula in Orion
One of the most identifiable nebulae in the sky, the Horsehead Nebula in Orion, is part of a large, dark, molecular cloud. Also known as Barnard 33, the unusual shape was first discovered on a photographic plate in the late 1800s.
Fireball Over Edmonton
What if you're driving down the street and an object from space shoots across the sky right in front of you? Such was the case last week for many people in south central Canada.
Radar Indicates Buried Glaciers on Mars
What created this unusual terrain on Mars? The floors of several mid-latitude craters in Hellas Basin on Mars appear unusually grooved, flat, and shallow. New radar images from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter bolster an exciting hypothesis: huge glaciers of buried ice.
In the Vicinity of the Cone Nebula
Strange shapes and textures can be found in neighborhood of the Cone Nebula. The unusual shapes originate from fine interstellar dust reacting in complex ways with the energetic light and hot gas being expelled by the young stars.
From Moonrise to Sunset
In this panorama of Earth and sky recorded on Thursday, November 13, the Full Moon rises along the eastern horizon at the far left. Of course, the Full Moon rises at sunset and that Thursday's setting Sun was also captured at the far right.
M76 Above and Below
Also known by the popular name the "Little Dumbbell Nebula", M76 is one of the fainter objects listed in Charles Messier's 18th century Catalog of Nebulae and Star Clusters. Like its better-known namesake M27 (the Dumbbell Nebula), M76 is recognized as a planetary nebula - a gaseous shroud cast off by a dying sunlike star.