Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Giant Cluster Bends, Breaks Galaxy Images
What are those strange blue objects? Many are images of a single, unusual, beaded, blue, ring-like galaxy which just happens to line-up behind a giant cluster of galaxies. Cluster galaxies here appear yellow and -- together with the cluster's dark matter -- act as a gravitational lens.
X-Rays From IC 443
The life-cycles of stars help drive the ecology of our Galaxy, churning, processing, and redistributing matter. Massive stars reach a spectacular evolutionary endpoint - supernovae explosions which blast off their outer layers, violently merging stellar material with the gas and dust of the Milky Way. The supernova remnant IC 443 is typical of the aftermath.
A Galactic Cloud of Antimatter
The center of our Milky Way Galaxy is full of surprises. Its latest spectacular is a mysterious cloud glowing in gamma rays produced by annihilating antimatter particles! Star Trek fans are all too familiar...
Milky Way Molecule Map
Where are the Milky Way's gas clouds and where are they going? Stars form in gas clouds, and the motion of gas clouds tell us about the size and rotation speed of our own Milky Way Galaxy.
Hale-Bopp and Orion
Comet Hale-Bopp is still brighter than most constellations. In fact, Comet Hale-Bopp may now hold the record for staying bright the longest. Last week the comet was photographed above in the same field...
Io's Sodium Cloud
Io has its own cloud. Jupiter's most active moon is visible on the left of the above false-color photograph, with its left side illuminated by sunlight. But what is happening on Io's right side? Here a plume of gas from the active volcano Prometheus also reflects sunlight.
Sputnik: Traveling Companion
Sputnik means "traveling companion". Despite the innocuous sounding name, the launch of the Earth's first "artificial moon", Sputnik 1, by the Soviets on October 4, 1957 shocked the free world, setting in motion events which resulted in the creation of NASA and the race to the Moon.
The Perseus Cluster of Galaxies
Here is one of the largest objects that anyone will ever see on the sky. Each of the fuzzy blobs in the above picture is a galaxy, together making up the Perseus Cluster, one of the closest clusters of galaxies.
Light polarization is familiar to many outdoor enthusiasts who use polarizing sunglasses to cut the glare of reflected light. These two views of comet Hale-Bopp also demonstrate the effect of polarization. At left...
The Frothy Milky Way
Astronomers have recently discovered that looking at dust along the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy is a bit like looking into a frothy glass of beer. The dust between stars in our galaxy...