Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Saturns Rings in Natural Color
What colors are Saturn's rings? Recent images from the Cassini spacecraft now orbiting Saturn confirm that different rings have slightly different colors. The above image shows their sometimes-subtle differences in brightness and color. The rings reflect sunlight and so, even if they were perfectly reflecting, would appear the color of the Sun.
In this alluring time exposure, star trails arc across the night sky above Monterey Bay and the lights of Santa Cruz, California, USA. But since the exposure began around 3:01am PDT on July 15 it also records the long trail of a Delta II rocket lofting NASA's Aura spacecraft into Earth orbit.
A Shadow on the Rings of Saturn
This picture of Saturn could not have been taken from Earth. No Earth based picture could possibly view the night side of Saturn and the corresponding shadow cast across Saturn's rings. Since Earth is much closer to the Sun than Saturn, only the day side of the planet is visible from the Earth.
Space Station, Venus, Sun
On June 8, Venus was not the only celestial object to pass in front of the Sun. A few well-situated photographers caught the International Space Station also crossing the Sun simultaneously. Pictured above...
The Spirit rover attacked Mars again late last month. What might look, above, like a military attack, though, was once again just a scientific one - Spirit was instructed to closely inspect some interesting rocks near Columbia Hills.
M31: The Andromeda Galaxy
Andromeda is the nearest major galaxy to our own Milky Way Galaxy. Our Galaxy is thought to look much like Andromeda. Together these two galaxies dominate the Local Group of galaxies. The diffuse light from Andromeda is caused by the hundreds of billions of stars that compose it.
Transit of Venus Stereogram
Venus glides in front of an enormous solar disk in these two frames from the TRACE satellite imaging of the inner planet's 2004 transit. Arranged in a "right/left" stereogram, the frames are intended...
Blown by the wind from a star, this tantalizing, ghostly apparition is cataloged as NGC 7635, but known simply as The Bubble Nebula. Astronomer Ken Crawford's striking view combines a long exposure through a hydrogen alpha filter with color images to reveal the intricate details of this cosmic bubble and its environment.
Stars and Dust in Corona Australis
A cosmic dust cloud sprawls across a rich field of stars in this gorgeous wide field telescopic vista looking toward Corona Australis, the Southern Crown. Probably less than 500 light-years away and effectively blocking...
Polar Polygons on Mars
What's the best way to the city center? What looks like a street map of some city on Earth is actually a series of naturally-formed fragmented polar polygons on Mars. The existence...