Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Comet and Orion
These colorful panels both feature a familiar northern hemisphere astronomical sight: the stellar nursery known as the Great Orion Nebula. They also offer an intriguing and unfamiliar detail of the nebula rich skyscape -- a passing comet.
Carina Pillar and Jets
This cosmic pillar of gas and dust is nearly 2 light-years wide. The structure lies within one of our galaxy's largest star forming regions, the Carina Nebula, shining in southern skies at a distance of about 7,500 light-years.
Saturn at Equinox
How would Saturn look if its ring plane pointed right at the Sun? Before last month, nobody knew. Every 15 years, as seen from Earth, Saturn's rings point toward the Earth and appear to disappear.
Orion in Gas, Dust, and Stars
The constellation of Orion holds much more than three stars in a row. A deep exposure shows everything from dark nebula to star clusters, all imbedded in an extended patch of gaseous wisps in the greater Orion Molecular Cloud Complex.
Water Discovered on the Moon
Water has been discovered on the surface of the Moon. No lakes have been found, but rather NASA's Moon Mineralogy Mapper aboard India's new Chandrayaan-1 lunar orbiter radios back that parts of the Moon's surface absorb a very specific color of light identified previously only with water.
To Fly Free in Space
At about 100 meters from the cargo bay of the space shuttle Challenger, Bruce McCandless II was further out than anyone had ever been before. Guided by a Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU), astronaut McCandless, pictured above, was floating free in space.
Gigagalaxy Zoom: Milky Way
Our magnificent Milky Way Galaxy sprawls across this ambitious all-sky panorama. In fact, at 800 million pixels the full resolution mosaic strives to show all the stars the eye can see in planet Earth's night sky.
Gigagalaxy Zoom: Galactic Center
From Sagittarius to Scorpius, the central Milky Way is a truly beautiful part of planet Earth's night sky. The gorgeous region is captured here, an expansive gigapixel mosaic of 52 fields spanning 34 by 20 degrees in 1200 individual images and 200 hours of exposure time.
Often inspiring, or offering a moment for contemplation, a sunset is probably the most commonly photographed celestial event. But this uncommonly beautiful sunset picture was taken on a special day, the Equinox on September 22.
CoRoT Satellite Discovers Rocky Planet
How similar is exoplanet CoRoT-7b to Earth? The newly discovered extra-solar planet is the closest physical match yet, with a mass about five Earths and a radius of about 1.7 Earths. Also, the home star to CoRoT-7b, although 500 light years distant, is very similar to our Sun.