Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)A Solar Prominence from SOHO
How can gas float above the Sun? Twisted magnetic fields arching from the solar surface can trap ionized gas, suspending it in huge looping structures. These majestic plasma arches are seen as prominences above the solar limb.
A Beautiful Trifid
The beautiful Trifid Nebula is a colorful study in cosmic contrasts. Also known as M20, it lies about 5,000 light-years away toward the nebula rich constellation Sagittarius. A star forming region...
Close to the Great Bear (Ursa Major) and surrounded by the stars of the Hunting Dogs (Canes Venatici), this celestial wonder was discovered in 1781 by the metric French astronomer Pierre Mechain. Later, it was added to the catalog of his friend and colleague Charles Messier as M106.
Moon in the Mullica
Still waters mimic a predawn sky along the eastern horizon in this peaceful scene. The picture was recorded on May 22nd from the banks of the Mullica River, in a forested region known as the Pine Barrens of southern New Jersey on the US east coast.
Volcanic Terrain on Mercury
Why are many large craters on Mercury relatively smooth inside? Recent images from the robotic MESSENGER spacecraft that flew by Mercury last October show previously uncharted regions of Mercury that have large craters with an internal smoothness similar to the maria on Earth's own Moon.
Whirlpool Galaxy Deep Field
Follow the handle of the Big Dipper away from the dipper's bowl, until you get to the handle's last bright star. Then, just slide your telescope a little south and west and you might find this stunning pair of interacting galaxies, the 51st entry in Charles Messier's famous catalog.
Hubble Floats Free
Why put observatories in space? Most telescopes are on the ground. On the ground, you can deploy a heavier telescope and fix it more easily. The trouble is that Earth-bound telescopes must look through the Earth's atmosphere.
Carina Nebula Panorama from Hubble
In one of the brightest parts of Milky Way lies a nebula where some of the oddest things occur. NGC 3372, known as the Great Nebula in Carina, is home to massive stars and changing nebula.
Apollo 12 and Surveyor 3 Stereo View
Put on your red/blue glasses and gaze into this dramatic stereo view from the surface of the Moon. The 3D scene features Apollo 12 astronaut Pete Conrad visiting the Surveyor 3 spacecraft in November of 1969. The image was carefully created from two separate pictures (AS12-48-7133, AS12-48-7134) taken on the lunar surface.
East of Antares
East of Antares, dark markings sprawl through crowded star fields toward the center of our Milky Way Galaxy. Cataloged in the early 20th century by astronomer E. E. Barnard, the obscuring interstellar dust clouds include B59, B72, B77 and B78, seen in silhouette against the starry background.