Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Veins of Heaven
Transfusing sunlight through a a still dark sky, this exceptional display of noctilucent clouds was captured earlier this month above the island of Gotland, Sweden. From the edge of space, about 80 kilometers above...
M31: The Andromeda Galaxy
Andromeda is the nearest major galaxy to our own Milky Way Galaxy. Our Galaxy is thought to look much like Andromeda. Together these two galaxies dominate the Local Group of galaxies. The diffuse light from Andromeda is caused by the hundreds of billions of stars that compose it.
A Sky Portal in New Zealand
To some, it may look like a portal into the distant universe. To others, it may appear as the eye of a giant. Given poetic license, both are correct. Pictured above is a standard fisheye view of the sky -- but with an unusual projection.
The Horsehead Nebula from Blue to Infrared
One of the most identifiable nebulae in the sky, the Horsehead Nebula in Orion, is part of a large, dark, molecular cloud. Also known as Barnard 33, the unusual shape was first discovered on a photographic plate in the late 1800s.
Rho Ophiuchi Wide Field
The clouds surrounding the star system Rho Ophiuchi compose one of the closest star forming regions. Rho Ophiuchi itself is a binary star system visible in the light-colored region on the image right.
NGC 253: Dusty Island Universe
Shiny NGC 253 is one of the brightest spiral galaxies visible, and also one of the dustiest. Some call it the Silver Dollar Galaxy for its appearance in small telescopes, or just the Sculptor Galaxy for its location within the boundaries of the southern constellation Sculptor.
Cosmic Crab Nebula
The Crab Pulsar, a city-sized, magnetized neutron star spinning 30 times a second, lies at the center of this tantalizing wide-field image of the Crab Nebula. A spectacular picture of one of our Milky Way's supernova remnants, it combines optical survey data with X-ray data from the orbiting Chandra Observatory.
ALMA Milky Way
This alluring all-skyscape was taken 5,100 meters above sea level, from the Chajnantor Plateau in the Chilean Andes. Viewed through the site's rarefied atmosphere at about 50% sea level pressure, the gorgeous Milky Way stretches through the scene.
IC 4603: Reflection Nebula in Ophiuchius
Why does this starfield photograph resemble an impressionistic painting? The effect is created not by digital trickery but by large amounts of interstellar dust. Dust, minute globs rich in carbon and similar in size to cigarette smoke, frequently starts in the outer atmospheres of large, cool, young stars.
Cave with Aurora Skylight
Yes, but have you ever seen aurora from a cave? To capture this fascinating juxtaposition between below and above, astrophotographer Bjargmundsson spent much of a night alone in the kilometer-long RaufarhСlshellir lava cave in Iceland during late March. There, he took separate images of three parts of the cave using a strobe for illumination.