Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)NGC 3628: The Hamburger Galaxy
No, hamburgers are not this big. What is pictured is a sharp telescopic views of a magnificent edge-on spiral galaxy NGC 3628 show a puffy galactic disk divided by dark dust lanes. Of course, this deep galactic portrait puts some astronomers in mind of its popular moniker, The Hamburger Galaxy.
Approach above Sunset
There it is! The Cygnus supply ship was a welcome sight to the astronauts on the International Space Station just over a week ago. Launched three days before on a United Launch Alliance Atlas...
Cooling Neutron Star
The bright source near the center is a neutron star, the incredibly dense, collapsed remains of a massive stellar core. Surrounding it is supernova remnant Cassiopeia A (Cas A), a comfortable 11,000 light-years away. Light from the Cas A supernova, the death explosion of a massive star, first reached Earth about 350 years ago.
Cassini Looks Out from Saturn
This is what Saturn looks like from inside the rings. Last week, for the first time, NASA directed the Cassini spacecraft to swoop between Saturn and its rings. During the dive, the robotic spacecraft took hundreds of images showing unprecedented detail for structures in Saturn's atmosphere.
Arches of Spring
Two luminous arches stretched across the dome of the sky on this northern spring night. After sunset on March 29, the mountain view panorama was captured in 57 exposures from Chopok peak in central Slovakia at an altitude of about 2,000 meters.
Exploring the Antennae
Some 60 million light-years away in the southerly constellation Corvus, two large galaxies are colliding. Stars in the two galaxies, cataloged as NGC 4038 and NGC 4039, very rarely collide in the course of the ponderous cataclysm that lasts for hundreds of millions of years.
Lyrids in Southern Skies
Earth's annual Lyrid meteor shower peaked before dawn on April 22nd, as our fair planet plowed through dust from the tail of long-period comet Thatcher. Seen from the high, dark, and dry Atacama desert a waning crescent Moon and brilliant Venus join Lyrid meteor streaks in this composited view.
Mt. Etna Lava Plume
Mt. Etna has been erupting for hundreds of thousands of years. Located in Sicily, Italy, the volcano produces lava fountains over one kilometer high. Mt. Etna is not only one of the most active...
A Split Ion Tail for Comet Lovejoy E4
What's happened to Comet Lovejoy? In the pictured image, a processed composite, the comet was captured early this month after brightening unexpectedly and sporting a long and intricate ion tail. Remarkably, the typically...
A White Battle in the Black Sea
Trillions have died in the Earth's seas. Calcified shields of the dead already make up the white cliffs of Dover. The battle between ball-shaped light-colored single-celled plants -- phytoplankton called coccolithophores -- and even smaller, diamond-shaped viruses dubbed coccolithoviruses -- has raged for tens of millions of years.