Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Spiral Galaxy NGC 1232
Galaxies are fascinating not only for what is visible, but for what is invisible. Grand spiral galaxy NGC 1232, recently captured in detail by the new Very Large Telescope, is a good example.
A Peculiar Cluster of Galaxies
Far across the universe, an unusual cluster of galaxies has been evolving. A diverse group of galaxies populate this cluster, including, on the left, an unusual galaxy showing an equatorial polar ring and a large spiral. Above looms a large elliptical galaxy.
A Hurricane in the Gulf
Last Friday, Hurricane Georges was photographed from space entering the Gulf of Mexico. This immense storm system, larger than most states, is expected to make landfall today. Starting as a slight pressure difference, hurricanes grow into large spiraling storm systems of low pressure, complete with high winds and driving rain.
Albert Einstein Describes Space and Time
Albert Einstein (1879-1955) is considered by many the greatest astrophysicist. He is pictured here in the Swiss Patent Office where he did much of his great work. Einstein's many visionary scientific contributions...
Astronaut Carl Walz waves at his colleagues from the aft end of the Space Shuttle Discovery's payload bay. During this 1993 spacewalk, Walz evaluated tools, tethers, and a foot restraint designed for use in a weightless environment while orbiting Planet Earth.
Twin Proto Planetary Disks
Sun-like stars are forming - and probably planets too - hidden inside Lynds 1551, an interstellar cloud of molecular gas and dust in the constellation Taurus. Using new receivers, coordinated radio telescopes at the Very Large Array near Socorro, New Mexico, USA, can now sharply image the dusty proto-planetary disks surrounding these young stars at radio wavelengths.
The North Pole Of Mars
The North Pole of Mars is capped by layers likely consisting of ice and dust deposited over millions of years. Imaged on September 12 - early Spring for Northern Mars - by the Mars Global Surveyor's camera, this synthesized wide-angle color view shows the rippled, eroded polar terrain covered with pinkish seasonal carbon dioxide frost.
Autumn and the Active Sun
As the Sun heads South, crossing the celestial equator today at 1:37 a.m. Eastern Time, Autumn begins for Earth's Northern Hemisphere. This Autumnal Equinox finds an increasingly active Sun steadily approaching a solar cycle maximum expected around the year 2003.
M61: Virgo Spiral Galaxy
M61 is a barred spiral galaxy located in the nearby Virgo Cluster of Galaxies. Visible in M61 are a host of features common to spiral galaxies: bright spiral arms, a central bar, dust lanes, and bright knots of stars. M61, also known as NGC 4303, in similar to our own Milky Way Galaxy.
NGC 281: Cluster, Clouds, and Globules
NGC 281 is a busy workshop of star formation. Prominent features include a small open cluster of stars, a diffuse red-glowing emission nebula, large lanes of obscuring gas and dust, and dense knots of dust and gas in which stars may still be forming.