Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)The Outer Shells of Centaurus A
What causes the surrounding shells in peculiar galaxy Cen A? In 2002 a fascinating image of peculiar galaxy Centaurus A was released, processed to highlight a faint blue arc indicating an ongoing collision with a smaller galaxy.
Conjunctions near Dawn
Now shining in eastern skies at dawn, bright planets Venus and Jupiter join the Pleiades star cluster in this sea and sky scape, recorded earlier this week near Buenos Aires, Argentina. Venus dominates the scene that includes bright star Aldebaran just below and to the right.
Dark Clouds in Aquila
Part of a dark expanse that splits the crowded plane of our Milky Way galaxy, the Aquila Rift arcs through the northern hemisphere's summer skies near bright star Altair and the Summer Triangle...
In the Glare of Alpha Centauri
The glare of Alpha Centauri, one of the brightest stars in planet Earth's night sky, floods the left side of this southern skyscape. A mere 4.3 light-years distant, Alpha Centauri actually consists of two component stars similar in size to the Sun, locked in a mutual orbit.
Simeis 188 in Stars, Dust and Gas
When stars form, pandemonium reigns. A particularly colorful case is the star forming region Simeis 188 which houses an unusual and bright cloud arc cataloged as NGC 6559. Visible above are red glowing emission nebulas of hydrogen, blue reflection nebulas of dust, dark absorption nebulas of dust, and the stars that formed from them.
A Sundial that Shows Solstice
What time is it? If the time and day are right, this sundial will tell you: SOLSTICE. Only then will the Sun be located just right for sunlight to stream through openings and spell out the term for the longest and shortest days of the year. And that happened last week and twice each year.
Milky Way Over Piton de lEau
Sometimes, if you wait long enough for a clear and moonless night, the stars will come out with a vengeance. One such occasion occurred earlier this month at the Piton de l'Eau on Reunion Island. In the foreground, surrounded by bushes and trees, lies a water filled volcanic crater serenely reflecting starlight.
Apollo 17 at Shorty Crater
In December of 1972, Apollo 17 astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt spent about 75 hours on the Moon in the Taurus-Littrow valley, while colleague Ronald Evans orbited overhead. This sharp image was taken by Cernan as he and Schmitt roamed the valley floor.
Northern Green Flash
As seen from Frösön island in northern Sweden the Sun did set a day after the summer solstice. From that location below the arctic circle it settled slowly behind the northern horizon.
IC 2574: Coddington s Nebula
Grand spiral galaxies often seem to get all the glory, flaunting their young, bright, blue star clusters in beautiful, symmetric spiral arms. But small, irregular galaxies form stars too. In fact dwarf galaxy IC 2574 shows clear evidence of intense star forming activity in its telltale pinkish regions of glowing hydrogen gas.