Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)IC 1795: The Fishhead Nebula
To some, this nebula looks like the head of a fish. However, this colorful cosmic portrait really features glowing gas and obscuring dust clouds in IC 1795, a star forming region in the northern constellation Cassiopeia.
Star Forming Region NGC 3582 without Stars
What's happening in the Statue of Liberty nebula? Bright stars and interesting molecules are forming and being liberated. The complex nebula resides in the star forming region called RCW 57, and besides the iconic monument, to some looks like a flying superhero or a weeping angel.
Lightning over the Volcano of Water
Have you ever watched a lightning storm in awe? Join the crowd. Details of what causes lightning are still being researched, but it is known that inside some clouds, internal updrafts cause collisions between ice and snow that slowly separate charges between cloud tops and bottoms The rapid electrical discharges that are lightning soon result.
The North America Nebula in Infrared
The North America Nebula can do what most North Americans cannot -- form stars. Precisely where in the nebula these stars are forming has been mostly obscured by some of the nebula's thick dust that is opaque to visible light.
Chandrayaan 2 Launch
On July 22nd this GSLV (Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle) MkIII rocket vanished from sight into a cloud bank an instant after this dramatic snapshot was taken. Launched from India's Satish Dhawan Space Centre it carried the Chandrayaan 2 mission spacecraft into Earth orbit.
The Veins of Heaven
Transfusing sunlight through a still dark sky, this exceptional display of noctilucent clouds was captured earlier this month, reflected in the calm waters of Vallentuna Lake near Stockholm, Sweden. From the edge of space...
In brush strokes of interstellar dust and glowing hydrogen gas, this beautiful skyscape is painted across the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy near the northern end of the Great Rift and the constellation Cygnus the Swan.
What's that strange light down the road? Dust orbiting the Sun. At certain times of the year, a band of sun-reflecting dust from the inner Solar System appears prominently just after sunset -- or just before sunrise -- and is called zodiacal light.
M82: Galaxy with a Supergalactic Wind
Why is the Cigar Galaxy billowing red smoke? M82, as this starburst galaxy is also known, was stirred up by a recent pass near large spiral galaxy M81. This doesn't fully explain the source of the red-glowing outwardly expanding gas and dust, however.
HDR: Earths Circular Shadow on the Moon
What could create such a large circular shadow on the Moon? The Earth. Last week's full Moon -- the Buck Moon -- was so full that it fell almost exactly in a line with the Sun and the Earth. When that happens the Earth casts its shadow onto the Moon.