Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Twilight in a Western Sky
A slender crescent Moon and inner planets Venus and Mercury never wander far from the Sun in planet Earth's skies. In the fading evening twilight of March 18, they line up near the western horizon in this atmospheric skyscape.
NGC 247 and Friends
About 70,000 light-years across, NGC 247 is a spiral galaxy smaller than our Milky Way. Measured to be only 11 million light-years distant it is nearby though. Tilted nearly edge-on as seen from our perspective, it dominates this telescopic field of view toward the southern constellation Cetus.
NGC 2023 in the Horsehead s Shadow
Carved by a bright young star in Orion's dusty molecular clouds, NGC 2023 is often overlooked in favor of the nearby dramatic silhouette of the Horsehead Nebula. In its own right it is seen as a beautiful star forming emission and reflection nebula though, a mere 1500 light-years distant.
Blue Moon Tree
Does an alignment like this occur only once in a blue moon? No, although it was during a blue moon that this single-shot image was taken. During a full moon that happened...
Mars Between Nebulas
What that bright red spot between the Lagoon and Trifid Nebulas? Mars. This gorgeous color deep-sky photograph captured the red planet passing between the two notable nebulas -- cataloged by the 18th century cosmic registrar Charles Messier as M8 and M20.
The Coma Cluster of Galaxies
Almost every object in the above photograph is a galaxy. The Coma Cluster of Galaxies pictured here is one of the densest clusters known - it contains thousands of galaxies. Each of these galaxies houses billions of stars - just as our own Milky Way Galaxy does.
Announcing Nova Carinae 2018
How bright will Nova Carinae 2018 become? The new nova was discovered only last week. Although novas occur frequently throughout the universe, this nova, cataloged as ASASSN-18fv, is so unusually bright in the skies of Earth that it is now easily visible through binoculars in the southern hemisphere.
NGC 602 and Beyond
Near the outskirts of the Small Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy some 200 thousand light-years distant, lies 5 million year young star cluster NGC 602. Surrounded by natal gas and dust...
Sharpless 249 and the Jellyfish Nebula
Normally faint and elusive, the Jellyfish Nebula is caught in this alluring telescopic image. Centered in the scene it's anchored right and left by two bright stars, Mu and Eta Geminorum, at the foot of the celestial twin. The Jellyfish Nebula is the brighter arcing ridge of emission with dangling tentacles.
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.