Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Millions of Stars in Omega Centauri
Featured in the sharp telescopic image, globular star cluster Omega Centauri (NGC 5139) is some 15,000 light-years away and 150 light-years in diameter. Packed with about 10 million stars much older than...
Unusual Starburst Galaxy NGC 1313
Why is this galaxy so discombobulated? Usually, galaxies this topsy-turvy result from a recent collision with a neighboring galaxy. Spiral galaxy NGC 1313, however, appears to be alone. Brightly lit with new and blue massive stars, star formation appears so rampant in NGC 1313 that it has been labeled a starburst galaxy.
Moonset Over Pleasant Bay
It was a sky for the imagination. In the early evening last week, the sky illuminating the unaided eye was perhaps even more illuminating to the mind's eye. The unaided eye saw clouds...
M16: Pillars of Creation
It has become one of the most famous images of modern times. This image, taken with the Hubble Space Telescope in 1995, shows evaporating gaseous globules (EGGs) emerging from pillars of molecular hydrogen gas and dust.
Hesiodus Sunrise Ray
Stark shadows of mountains and crater walls stand out along the lunar terminator, or shadow line between night and day, in this telescopic image. Of course, if viewed from the lunar surface near the terminator line, the Sun would be rising and still close to the lunar horizon.
Young Moon and Sister Stars
A young crescent Moon shares the western sky with sister stars of the Pleiades cluster in this pretty, evening skyscape recorded on the March equinox from San Antonio, Texas. In the processed digital image, multiple exposures of the celestial scene were combined to show details of the bright lunar surface along with the Pleiades stars.
NGC 2442: Galaxy in Volans
Distorted galaxy NGC 2442 can be found in the southern constellation of the flying fish, (Piscis) Volans. Located about 50 million light-years away, the galaxy's two spiral arms extending from a pronounced central bar have a hook-like appearance in wide-field images.
Galaxy Wars: M81 versus M82
On the right, surrounded by blue spiral arms, is spiral galaxy M81. On the left, marked by red gas and dust clouds, is irregular galaxy M82. This stunning vista shows these two mammoth galaxies locked in gravitational combat, as they have been for the past billion years.
Reinvigorated Sun and Prominence
Dramatic prominences can sometimes be seen looming just beyond the edge of the sun. Such was the case last week as a giant prominence, visible above on the right, highlighted a Sun showing increased activity as it comes off an unusually quiet Solar Minimum.
The Nearby Milky Way in Cold Dust
What shapes the remarkable dust tapestry of the nearby Milky Way Galaxy? No one knows for sure. The intricate structures, shown above, were resolved in new detail recently in a wide region of the sky imaged in far infrared light by the European Space Agency's Planck satellite.