Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Curiosity Rover Lifts Off for Mars
Next stop: Mars. This past weekend the Mars Science Laboratory carrying the Curiosity Rover blasted off for the red planet atop an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA, as pictured above.
Across the Center of Centaurus A
A fantastic jumble of young blue star clusters, gigantic glowing gas clouds, and imposing dark dust lanes surrounds the central region of the active galaxy Centaurus A. This image from the Hubble Space Telescope has been processed to present a natural color picture of this cosmic maelstrom.
A Landslide on Asteroid Vesta
Asteroid Vesta is home to some of the most impressive cliffs in the Solar System. Pictured above near the image center is a very deep cliff running about 20 kilometers from top to bottom. The image was taken by the robotic Dawn spacecraft that began orbiting the 500-kilometer space rock earlier this year.
Shuttle Plume Shadow Points to the Moon
Why would the shadow of a space shuttle launch plume point toward the Moon? In early 2001 during a launch of Atlantis, the Sun, Earth, Moon, and rocket were all properly aligned for this photogenic coincidence.
Pelican Nebula Close Up
The prominent ridge of emission featured in this vivid skyscape is designated IC 5067. Part of a larger emission nebula with a distinctive shape, popularly called The Pelican Nebula, the ridge spans about 10 light-years and follows the curve of the cosmic pelican's head and neck.
A Glimpse of CLIMSO
A tantalizing glimpse inside this dome was captured after sunset at the mountain top Pic Du Midi Observatory in the French Pyrenees. But while most are just beginning their work at sunset, this observatory's day was done.
Caught in the Afterglow
In this artist's illustration, two distant galaxies formed about 2 billion years after the big bang are caught in the afterglow of GRB090323, a gamma-ray burst seen across the Universe. Shining through...
The View from Chajnantor
From an altitude of over 5,000 meters, the night sky view from Chajnantor Plateau in the Chilean Andes is breathtaking in more ways than one. The dark site's rarefied atmosphere, at about 50 percent sea level pressure, is also extremely dry.
Leonid Fireball over Tenerife
Historically active, this year's Leonid meteor shower was diminished by bright moonlight. Still, faithful night sky watchers did see the shower peak on November 18 and even the glare of moonlight didn't come close to masking this brilliant fireball meteor.
Around the World in 90 Minutes
What is it like to circle the Earth? Every 90 minutes, astronauts aboard the International Space Station experience just that. Recently, crew members took a series of light-sensitive videos looking down at night that have been digitally fused to produce the above time-lapse video.