Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Moons and Rings Before Saturn
While cruising around Saturn, be on the lookout for picturesque juxtapositions of moons and rings. Another striking alignment occurred last March in the view of humanity's Saturn-orbiting Cassini spacecraft. Rhea, one of Saturn's larger moons, was caught passing Epimetheus, one of Saturn's smaller moons.
The Galactic Center in Infrared from 2MASS
The center of our Galaxy is a busy place. In visible light, much of the Galactic Center is obscured by opaque dust. In infrared light, however, dust glows more and obscures less, allowing nearly one million stars to be recorded in the above image.
Black Holes in Merging Galaxies
Violent galaxy mergers can feed supermassive black holes. Theoretically, the result is intense emission from regions near the supermassive black holes, creating the some of the most luminous objects in the universe. Astronomers dub these Active Galactic Nuclei, or just AGN.
Atlantis over Rhodes
A moonlit chapel stands in the foreground of this night-scape from the historic Greek island of Rhodes. The tantalizing sky above features a colorful lunar corona, where bright moonlight is diffracted by water droplets in the thin clouds drifting in front of the lunar disk.
M13: The Great Globular Cluster in Hercules
In 1716, English astronomer Edmond Halley noted, "This is but a little Patch, but it shews it self to the naked Eye, when the Sky is serene and the Moon absent." Of course...
Clouds and Stars over Cotopaxi Volcano in Ecuador
What's happening above the Cotopaxi volcano in Ecuador? Quite a bit, from the looks of the above one-night, time-lapse movie, taken earlier this month. The majestic volcano is first seen through breaks in fast moving clouds as the movie begins.
Looking Back Across Mars
It's been a long trip for the Martian rover Opportunity. Last week Opportunity surpassed Viking 1 as the longest running mission on Mars, now extending well over six years. Pictured above, Opportunity's tire tracks cross a nearly featureless Martian desert, emanating from a distant horizon.
Rho Ophiuchus Wide Field
The clouds surrounding the star system Rho Ophiucus compose one of the closest star forming regions. Rho Ophiucus itself is a binary star system visible in the light-colored region on the image right.
Station and Shuttle Transit the Sun
That's no sunspot. On the upper right of the above image of the Sun, the dark patches are actually the International Space Station (ISS) and the Space Shuttle Atlantis on mission STS-132.
Dark Filament of the Sun
Suspended by magnetic fields above a solar active region this dark filament stretches over 40 earth-diameters. The ominous structure appears to be frozen in time near the Sun's edge, but solar filaments are unstable and often erupt.