Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Spitzer s M101
Big, beautiful spiral galaxy M101 is one of the last entries in Charles Messier's famous catalog, but definitely not one of the least. About 170,000 light-years across, this galaxy is enormous, almost twice the size of our own Milky Way Galaxy.
Rigel and the Witch Head Nebula
Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble -- maybe Macbeth should have consulted the Witch Head Nebula. This suggestively shaped reflection nebula on the lower left is associated with the bright star Rigel, to its right, in the constellation Orion.
Barred Spiral Galaxy NGC 6217
Many spiral galaxies have bars across their centers. Even our own Milky Way Galaxy is thought to have a modest central bar. Prominently barred spiral galaxy NGC 6217, pictured above, was captured in spectacular detail in this recently released image taken by the newly repaired Advanced Camera for Surveys on the orbiting Hubble Space Telescope.
The Cats Eye Nebula
Three thousand light-years away, a dying star throws off shells of glowing gas. This image from the Hubble Space Telescope reveals the Cat's Eye Nebula to be one of the most complex planetary nebulae known.
M51 Hubble Remix
The 51st entry in Charles Messier's famous catalog is perhaps the original spiral nebula - a large galaxy with a well defined spiral structure also cataloged as NGC 5194. Over 60,000 light-years across, M51's spiral arms and dust lanes clearly sweep in front of its companion galaxy (right), NGC 5195.
A Graceful Arc
The graceful arc of the Milky Way begins and ends at two mountain peaks in this solemn night sky panorama. Created from a 24 frame mosaic, exposures tracking Earth and sky were made separately...
Gamma Cas and Friends
Gamma Cassiopeiae shines high in northern autumn evening skies. The brightest spiky star in this rich and colorful Milky Way starfield, bluish Gamma Cas marks the central peak in the W-shaped constellation Cassiopeia.
December Sunrise, Cape Sounion
The Sun is a moving target. Its annual motion through planet Earth's sky tracks north and south, from solstice to solstice, as the seasons change. On December 21st, the solstice marking the first...
Planetary Systems Now Forming in Orion
How do planets form? To help find out, the Hubble Space Telescope was tasked to take a detailed look at one of the more interesting of all astronomical nebulae, the Great Nebula in Orion.
Star Cluster R136 Bursts Out
In the center of star-forming region 30 Doradus lies a huge cluster of the largest, hottest, most massive stars known. These stars, known collectively as star cluster R136, were captured above in visible light by the newly installed Wide Field Camera peering though the recently refurbished Hubble Space Telescope.