Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)The Heart Of Orion
Newborn stars lie at the heart of the Orion Nebula, hidden from view by the dust and gas of the giant Orion Molecular Cloud number 1 (OMC-1). Sensitive to invisible infrared wavelengths, Hubble...
Bound For Mars
Two NASA spacecraft, Mars Global Surveyor and Mars Pathfinder, are presently approaching the red planet. Pathfinder is scheduled to land on July 4th and Global Surveyor due to enter orbit in September. Recent studies...
GRB970508 Delivers Predicted Radio Emission
New evidence bolsters once controversial claims that Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRBs) are the most powerful explosions ever found by humanity. Two weeks ago, an average GRB became instantly historic when prompt, coincident X-ray and optical emissions were identified.
Shells in the Egg Nebula
The Egg Nebula is taking a beating. Like a baby chick pecking its way out of an egg, the star in the center of the Egg Nebula is casting away shells of gas and dust as it slowly transforms itself into a white dwarf star.
Barred Spiral Galaxy NGC 1365
Many spiral galaxies have bars across their centers. Even our own Milky Way Galaxy is thought to have a bar, but perhaps not so prominent as the one in NGC 1365, shown above. The persistence and motion of the bar imply relatively massive spiral arms.
The First Explorer
The first US spacecraft was Explorer 1. The cylindrical 30 pound satellite was launched (above) as the fourth stage of a Jupiter-C rocket (a modified US Army Redstone ballistic missile) and achieved orbit on January 31, 1958.
7,000 Stars and the Milky Way
This panorama view of the sky is really a drawing. It was made in the 1940s under the supervision of astronomer Knut Lundmark at the Lund Observatory in Sweden. To create the picture, draftsmen...
Signed, "A Black Hole"
This artistic image is actually the signature of a supermassive black hole in the center of distant galaxy M84 - based on data recently recorded by Hubble's new Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS). Very...
Hale-Bopp: Climbing Into Southern Skies
Fighting the glow of the setting sun and the city lights of Cape Town, South Africa, comet Hale-Bopp is just visible near the center of this panoramic view - photographed on May 3rd.
Hale-Bopp's Fickle Ion Tail
What's happening to Comet Hale-Bopp's blue ion tail? The comet's ion tail is fluctuating more rapidly as it passes a region of changing solar wind. As the comet passes from north to south, it crosses the plane of the Sun's equator, where the solar magnetic field changes direction.