Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Supernova 1994D and the Unexpected Universe
Long ago, far away, a star exploded. Supernova 1994D, visible as the bright spot on the lower left, occurred in the outskirts of disk galaxy NGC 4526. Supernova 1994D was not of interest for how different it was, but rather for how similar it was to other supernovae.
Messier Craters in Stereo
Many bright nebulae and star clusters in planet Earth's sky are associated with the name of astronomer Charles Messier, from his famous 18th century catalog. His name is also given to these two large and remarkable craters on the Moon.
Saturn at Opposition
Telescopic observers on Earth have been treated to spectacular views of Saturn lately as the ringed planet reached its 2015 opposition on May 23 at 0200 UT. Of course opposition means opposite the Sun in Earth's sky. So near opposition Saturn is up all night, at its closest and brightest for the year.
Nearby Spiral Galaxy NGC 4945
Large spiral galaxy NGC 4945 is seen edge-on near the center of this cosmic galaxy portrait. In fact, NGC 4945 is almost the size of our own Milky Way Galaxy. Its own dusty disk, young blue star clusters, and pink star forming regions standout in the sharp, colorful telescopic image.
Here comes Pluto. NASA's robotic New Horizons spacecraft is now beyond the orbit of Neptune and closing fast on the Solar System's most famous unexplored world. The featured time lapse video shows...
Starburst Galaxy M94
What could cause the center of M94 to be so bright? Spiral galaxy M94 has a ring of newly formed stars surrounding its nucleus, giving it not only an unusual appearance but also a strong interior glow.
The Galaxy Tree
First came the trees. In the town of Salamanca, Spain, the photographer noticed how distinctive a grove of oak trees looked after being pruned. Next came the galaxy. The photographer stayed up until 2 am, waiting until the Milky Way Galaxy rose above the level of a majestic looking oak.
Space Shuttle Rising
What's that rising from the clouds? The space shuttle. Sometimes, if you looked out the window of an airplane at just the right place and time, you could have seen something very unusual -- a space shuttle launching to orbit.
NGC 7822 in Cepheus
Hot, young stars and cosmic pillars of gas and dust seem to crowd into NGC 7822. At the edge of a giant molecular cloud toward the northern constellation Cepheus, the glowing star forming region lies about 3,000 light-years away. Within the nebula, bright edges and dark shapes are highlighted in this colorful skyscape.
A Dark and Dusty Sky
In the dusty sky toward the constellation Taurus and the Orion Arm of our Milky Way Galaxy, this broad mosaic follows dark and faint reflection nebulae along the region's fertile molecular cloud.