Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Milky Way over Pyramid of the Feathered Serpent
To see the feathered serpent descend the Mayan pyramid requires exquisite timing. You must visit El Castillo -- in Mexico's YucatАn Peninsula -- near an equinox. Then, during the late afternoon if the sky is clear, the pyramid's own shadows create triangles that merge into the famous illusion of the slithering viper.
Unusual Mountain Ahuna Mons on Asteroid Ceres
What created this unusual mountain? There is a new theory. Ahuna Mons is the largest mountain on the largest known asteroid in our Solar System, Ceres, which orbits our Sun in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Ahuna Mons, though, is like nothing that humanity has ever seen before.
Get out your red/blue glasses and float next to Helene, small, icy moon of Saturn. Appropriately named, Helene is one of four known Trojan moons, so called because it orbits at a Lagrange point. A Lagrange point is a gravitationally stable position near two massive bodies, in this case Saturn and larger moon Dione.
NGC 4676: The Mighty Mice
These two mighty galaxies are pulling each other apart. Known as The Mice because they have such long tails, each large spiral galaxy has actually passed through the other. Their long tails are drawn out by strong gravitational tides rather than collisions of their individual stars.
The Colors and Magnitudes of M13
M13 is modestly recognized as the Great Globular Star Cluster in Hercules. A ball of stars numbering in the hundreds of thousands crowded into a region 150 light years across, it lies some 25,000 light-years away. The sharp, color picture of M13 at upper left is familiar to many telescopic imagers.
Spiral Galaxy M96 from Hubble
Dust lanes seem to swirl around the core of Messier 96 in this colorful, detailed portrait of the center of a beautiful island universe. Of course M96 is a spiral galaxy, and counting...
The Cave Nebula in Infrared from Spitzer
What's happening in and around the Cave Nebula? To help find out, NASA's orbiting Spitzer Space Telescope looked into this optically-dark star-forming region in four colors of infrared light. The Cave Nebula...
What's that black spot on Jupiter? No one is sure. During the latest pass of NASA's Juno around Jupiter, the robotic spacecraft imaged an usually dark cloud feature informally dubbed the Abyss. Surrounding cloud patterns show the Abyss to be at the center of a vortex.
A Triangular Shadow of a Large Volcano
Why does the shadow of this volcano look like a triangle? The Mount Teide volcano itself does not have the strictly pyramidal shape that its geometric shadow might suggest. The triangle shadow phenomena is not unique to the Mt. Teide, though, and is commonly seen from the tops of other large mountains and volcanoes.
On the Beach with Mars
At the end of last year's northern summer, after its dazzling opposition, Mars still shone brightly in the night. The celestial beacon easily attracted the attention of these two night skygazers who stood...