Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Anticrepuscular Rays Over Wyoming
What's happening over the horizon? Although the scene may appear somehow supernatural, nothing more unusual is occurring than a setting Sun and some well placed clouds. Pictured above are anticrepuscular rays. To understand them, start by picturing common crepuscular rays that are seen any time that sunlight pours though scattered clouds.
Barred Spiral Galaxy NGC 1073
Many spiral galaxies have bars across their centers. Even our own Milky Way Galaxy is thought to have a modest central bar. Prominently barred spiral galaxy NGC 1073, pictured above, was captured in spectacular detail in this recently released image taken by the orbiting Hubble Space Telescope.
A Message From Earth
What are these Earthlings trying to tell us? The above message was broadcast from Earth towards the globular star cluster M13 in 1974. During the dedication of the Arecibo Observatory - still the largest single radio telescope in the world - a string of 1's and 0's representing the above diagram was sent.
On the Road to Carina
This rugged road through the dark Atacama Desert seems to lead skyward toward the bright stars and glowing nebulae of the southern Milky Way. If you follow the road you will get to Cerro Armazones peak in Chile, future construction site for the 40-meter class European Extremely Large Telescope.
At the West Wall of Aristarchus Crater
Aristarchus Plateau is anchored in the vast lava flows of the Moon's Oceanus Procellarum. At the plateau's southeastern edge lies the spectacular Aristarchus Crater, an impact crater 40 kilometers wide and 3 kilometers deep.
NGC 5965 and NGC 5963 in Draco
These two spiral galaxies make a photogenic pair, found within the boundaries of the northern constellation Draco. Contrasting in color and orientation, NGC 5965 is nearly edge-on to our line of sight and dominated by yellow hues, while bluish NGC 5963 is closer to face-on.
Meropes Reflection Nebula
Reflection nebulas reflect light from a nearby star. Many small carbon grains in the nebula reflect the light. The blue color typical of reflection nebula is caused by blue light being more efficiently scattered by the carbon dust than red light.
The Rosette Nebula
The Rosette Nebula is not the only cosmic cloud of gas and dust to evoke the imagery of flowers -- but it is the most famous. At the edge of a large molecular cloud...
An Unusual Venusian Oval
Why would Venus appear oval? Venus has been seen countless times from the surface of the Earth, and every time the Earth's atmosphere has dispersed its light to some degree. When...
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 embedded in an extended patch of gaseous wisps in the greater Orion Molecular Cloud Complex.