Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Moon Venus Mars Skyline
Taken on February 20, five different exposures made in rapid succession were used to created this tantalizing telephoto image. In combination, they reveal a wide range of brightness visible to the eye on that frigid evening, from the urban glow of the Quebec City skyline to the triple conjunction of Moon, Venus and Mars.
Long Lovejoy and Little Dumbbell
Buffeted by the solar wind, Comet Lovejoy's crooked ion tail stretches over 3 degrees across this telescopic field of view, recorded on February 20. The starry background includes awesome bluish star Phi Persei below, and pretty planetary nebula M76 just above Lovejoy's long tail.
Love and War by Moonlight
Venus, named for the Roman goddess of love, and Mars, the war god's namesake, came together by moonlight in this lovely skyview, recorded on February 20 from Charleston, South Carolina, USA, planet Earth.
The Rosette Nebula in Hydrogen and Oxygen
The Rosette Nebula is not the only cosmic cloud of gas and dust to evoke the imagery of flowers -- but it is the most famous. At the edge of a large molecular cloud...
Unusual Plumes Above Mars
What is creating unusual plumes on Mars? No one is sure. Noted and confirmed by a global contingent of amateur astronomers on photos of the red planet in March 2012, possibly similar plumes have now been found on archived images as far back as 1997.
The Milky Way Over the Arizona Toadstools
Which is older -- the rocks you see on the ground or the light you see from the sky? Usually its the rocks that are older, with their origin sentiments deposited well before light left any of the stars or nebulas you see in the sky.
The Dark River to Antares
Connecting the Pipe Nebula to the colorful region near bright star Antares is a dark cloud dubbed the Dark River, flowing from the picture's left edge. Murky looking, the Dark River's appearance is caused by dust obscuring background starlight, although the dark nebula contains mostly hydrogen and molecular gas.
45 Days in the Sun
From January 11 to February 25 2013, a pinhole camera sat in a field near Budapest, Hungary, planet Earth to create this intriguing solargraph. And for 45 days, an old Antonov An-2 biplane stood still while the Sun rose and set.
An Evening Sky Conjunction
Eight years ago, an evening sky held this lovely pairing of a young crescent Moon and brilliant Venus. Seen near the western horizon, the close conjunction and its wintry reflection were captured from Bolu, Turkey, planet Earth on February 19, 2007.
Palomar 12 was not born here. The stars of the globular cluster, first identified in the Palomar Sky Survey, are younger than those in other globular star clusters that roam the halo of our Milky Way Galaxy.