Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)The First Explorer
Sixty years ago, on January 31, 1958, the First Explorer was successfully launched by the Army Ballistic Missile Agency on a Jupiter-C rocket. Inaugurating the era of space exploration for the United States, Explorer...
Venus at Night in Infrared from Akatsuki
Why is Venus so different from Earth? To help find out, Japan launched the robotic Akatsuki spacecraft which entered orbit around Venus late in 2015 after an unplanned five-year adventure around the inner Solar System.
The Spider and The Fly
Will the spider ever catch the fly? Not if both are large emission nebulas toward the constellation of the Charioteer (Auriga). The spider-shaped gas cloud on the left is actually an emission nebula labelled...
A Total Lunar Eclipse Over Tajikistan
If the full Moon suddenly faded, what would you see? The answer during the total lunar eclipse in 2011 was recorded in a dramatic time lapse video from Tajikistan. During a total lunar eclipse, the Earth moves between the Moon and the Sun, causing the moon to fade dramatically.
Laguna Starry Sky
Staring toward the heavens, one of the many lagunas in the Atacama Desert salt flat calmly reflects a starry night sky near San Pedro de Atacama, Chile, planet Earth. Cosmic rifts of dust, star clouds, and nebulae of the central Milky Way galaxy are rising in the east, beyond a volcanic horizon.
Selfie at Vera Rubin Ridge
On sol 1943 of its journey of exploration across the surface of Mars, the Curiosity Rover recorded this selfie at the south rim of Vera Rubin Ridge. Of course a sol is a Martian solar day, about 40 minutes longer than an Earth day. Curiosity's sol 1943 corresponds to Earth date January 23, 2018.
Cartwheel of Fortune
By chance, a collision of two galaxies has created a surprisingly recognizable shape on a cosmic scale, The Cartwheel Galaxy. The Cartwheel is part of a group of galaxies about 500 million light years away in the constellation Sculptor. Two smaller galaxies in the group are visible on the right.
The Tadpoles of IC 410
This telescopic close-up shows off the otherwise faint emission nebula IC 410. It also features two remarkable inhabitants of the cosmic pond of gas and dust below and left of center, the tadpoles of IC 410. Partly obscured by foreground dust, the nebula itself surrounds NGC 1893, a young galactic cluster of stars.
Ribbons and Pearls of Spiral Galaxy NGC 1398
Why do some spiral galaxies have a ring around the center? Spiral galaxy NGC 1398 not only has a ring of pearly stars, gas and dust around its center, but a bar of stars and gas across its center, and spiral arms that appear like ribbons farther out.
An Immersive Visualization of the Galactic Center
What if you could look out from the center of our Galaxy -- what might you see? Two scientifically-determined possibilities are shown in the featured video, an immersive 360-degree view which allows you to look around in every direction.