Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)NGC 7331 and Beyond
Big, beautiful spiral galaxy NGC 7331 is often touted as an analog to our own Milky Way. About 50 million light-years distant in the northern constellation Pegasus, NGC 7331 was recognized early on as a spiral nebula and is actually one of the brighter galaxies not included in Charles Messier's famous 18th century catalog.
Mobius Arch Moonrise
Only two days past full, February's moon shines through thin clouds, rising on the left in this fisheye night skyscape. The moonlight illuminates a weathered, rounded foreground in the Alabama Hills, conveniently located east of Mt. Whitney along the Sierra Nevada range in California, USA, planet Earth.
Daytime Moon Meets Morning Star
Venus now appears as planet Earth's brilliant morning star standing above the eastern horizon before dawn. For most, the silvery celestial beacon rose in a close pairing with an old crescent Moon on February 26.
Aurora over New Zealand
Sometimes the more you look at an image, the more you see. Such may be the case for this beautiful nighttime panorama taken last week in New Zealand. Visible right off, on the far left, are common clouds, slightly altered by the digital fusion of combining 11 separate 20-second exposures.
The Pleiades Deep and Dusty
The well known Pleiades star cluster is slowly destroying part of a passing cloud of gas and dust. The Pleiades is the brightest open cluster of stars on Earth's sky and can be seen from almost any northerly location with the unaided eye.
The Cloudy Cores of Active Galaxies
What would it look like to travel to the center of an active galaxy? Most galactic centers are thought to house black holes millions of times more massive than our Sun. The spaces surrounding...
Cassini Spacecraft Crosses Saturns Ring Plane
If this is Saturn, where are the rings? When Saturn's "appendages" disappeared in 1612, Galileo did not understand why. Later that century, it became understood that Saturn's unusual protrusions were rings and that when the Earth crosses the ring plane, the edge-on rings will appear to disappear.
M44: The Beehive Cluster
A mere 600 light-years away, M44 is one of the closest star clusters to our solar system. Also known as the Praesepe or the Beehive cluster its stars are young though, about 600 million years old compared to our Sun's 4.5 billion years.
The Long Jet of the Lighthouse Nebula
The Lighthouse nebula was formed by the wind of a pulsar, a rapidly rotating, magnetized neutron star, as it speeds through the interstellar medium at over 1,000 kilometers per second. Some...
Comet Lovejoy over The Great Wall
Fading now as it returns to the outer solar system Comet Lovejoy (C/2013 R1) still graces planet Earth's sky, a delicate apparition in binoculars or small telescopes. The comet, a relic...