Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Red Snow Moon over Edmonton
What's hovering between those buildings? The Moon. The above image was taken two weeks ago as the full Snow Moon started to rise above Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The odd coincidence between the angular size of the far distant Moon and the angular width of nearby buildings created a striking juxtaposition.
Saturns Hyperion: A Moon with Odd Craters
What lies at the bottom of Hyperion's strange craters? Nobody's sure. To help find out, the robot Cassini spacecraft now orbiting Saturn swooped past the sponge-textured moon in 2005 and 2010 and took images of unprecedented detail.
Shell Galaxies in Pisces
This colorful cosmic skyscape features a peculiar system of galaxies cataloged as Arp 227 some 100 million light-years distant. Swimming within the boundaries of the constellation Pisces, Arp 227 consists of the two galaxies prominent on the left; the curious shell galaxy NGC 474 and its blue, spiral-armed neighbor NGC 470.
NGC 4449: Close up of a Small Galaxy
Grand spiral galaxies often seem to get all the glory. Their young, blue star clusters and pink star forming regions along sweeping spiral arms are guaranteed to attract attention. But small irregular galaxies form stars too, like NGC 4449, about 12 million light-years distant.
NGC 1999: South of Orion
South of the large star-forming region known as the Orion Nebula, lies bright blue reflection nebula NGC 1999. Also at the edge of the Orion molecular cloud complex some 1,500 light-years distant, NGC 1999's illumination is provided by the embedded variable star V380 Orionis.
The Solar System from MESSENGER
If you looked out from the center of the Solar System, what would you see? Nearly such a view was taken recently from the MESSENGER spacecraft currently orbiting the Sun from the distance of Mercury. The Sun's planets all appear as points of light, with the closest and largest planets appearing the brightest.
Star Size Comparisons
How big is our Sun compared to other stars? In a dramatic and popular video featured on YouTube, the relative sizes of planets and stars are shown from smallest to largest. The above video starts with Earth's Moon and progresses through increasingly larger planets in our Solar System.
Milky Way Over Switzerland
What's visible in the night sky during this time of year? To help illustrate the answer, a beautiful land, cloud, and skyscape was captured earlier this month over NeuchБtel, Switzerland. Visible in the foreground were the snow covered cliffs of the amphitheater shaped Creux du Van, as well as distant trees, and town-lit clouds.
Mammatus Clouds Over Olympic Valley
What's happened to these clouds? Normal cloud bottoms are flat because moist warm air that rises and cools will condense into water droplets at a very specific temperature, which usually corresponds to a very specific height. After water droplets form that air becomes an opaque cloud.
Spiral Galaxy NGC 2841 Close Up
A mere 46 million light-years distant, spiral galaxy NGC 2841 can be found in the northern constellation of Ursa Major. This sharp view of the gorgeous island universe shows off a striking yellow nucleus and galactic disk.