Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Manicouagan Impact Crater from Space
Orbiting 400 kilometers above Quebec, Canada, planet Earth, the International Space Station Expedition 59 crew captured this snapshot of the broad St. Lawrence River and curiously circular Lake Manicouagan on April 11. Right of center, the ring-shaped lake is a modern reservoir within the eroded remnant of an ancient 100 kilometer diameter impact crater.
The Cats Eye Nebula in Optical and Xray
To some it looks like a cat's eye. To others, perhaps like a giant cosmic conch shell. It is actually one of brightest and most highly detailed planetary nebula known, composed of gas expelled in the brief yet glorious phase near the end of life of a Sun-like star.
Meteor Misses Galaxy
The galaxy was never in danger. For one thing, the Triangulum galaxy (M33), pictured, is much bigger than the tiny grain of rock at the head of the meteor. For another, the galaxy is much farther away -- in this instance 3 million light years as opposed to only about 0.0003 light seconds.
N11: Star Clouds of the LMC
Massive stars, abrasive winds, mountains of dust, and energetic light sculpt one of the largest and most picturesque regions of star formation in the Local Group of Galaxies. Known as N11, the region...
All of Mercury
Only six years ago, the entire surface of planet Mercury was finally mapped. Detailed observations of the innermost planet's surprising crust began when the robotic have been ongoing since the robotic MESSENGER spacecraft first passed Mercury in 2008 and continued until its controlled crash landing in 2015.
The Galaxy, the Jet and the Black Hole
Bright elliptical galaxy Messier 87 (M87) is home to the supermassive black hole captured by planet Earth's Event Horizon Telescope in the first ever image of a black hole. Giant of the Virgo...
Southern Cross to Eta Carinae
Tracking along the southern Milky Way this beautiful celestial mosaic was recorded under dark Brazilian skies. Spanning some 20 degrees it actually starts with the dark expanse of the Coalsack nebula at the lower left, tucked under an arm of the Southern Cross.
Pan STARRS Across the Lagoon
Ridges of glowing interstellar gas and dark dust clouds inhabit the turbulent, cosmic depths of the Lagoon Nebula. Also known as M8, the bright star forming region is about 5,000 light-years distant.
The Shape of the Southern Crab
The symmetric, multi-legged appearance of the Southern Crab Nebula is certainly distinctive. About 7,000 light-years distant toward the southern sky constellation Centaurus, its glowing nested hourglass shapes are produced by the remarkable symbiotic binary star system at its center.
Meteors, Comet, and Big Dipper over La Palma
Meteor showers are caused by streams of solid particles, dust size and larger, moving as a group through space. In most cases, the orbits of these meteor streams can be identified with dust expelled from a comet.