Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)1999 Leonid Fireball
Most Leonid meteoroids, the bits of comet debris which produce the annual Leonid meteor shower, range from a mere millimeter to a centimeter in diameter. Yet these cosmic grains of sand and gravel can put on quite a spectacular show. How can something so small generate so much light?
Landing At The Martian South Pole
The latest invader from Earth, the Mars Polar Lander (MPL) spacecraft, is scheduled to touch down on the Red Planet's surface on Friday, December 3rd. If all goes well the robotic explorer will...
Henize 70: A Superbubble in the LMC
Massive stars -- upwards of tens of times the mass of the Sun - profoundly affect their galactic environment. Churning and mixing the clouds of gas and dust between the stars, they leave their mark on the compositions and locations of future generations of stars and star systems.
Arcs and Jets in Herbig Haro 34
Some features of HH-34 are understood -- some are not. At the core of Herbig-Haro 34 lies a seemingly typical young star. This star, though, somehow ejects energetic "bullets" of high-energy particles, appearing as red streaks toward the lower right of the this image.
Beneath Venus Clouds
If the thick clouds covering Venus were removed, how would the surface appear? Using an imaging radar technique, the Magellan spacecraft was able to lift the veil from the Face of Venus and produce this spectacular high resolution image of the planet's surface. Red, in this false-color map, represents mountains, while blue represents valleys.
Runaway stars are massive stars traveling rapidly through interstellar space. Like a ship plowing through the interstellar medium, runaway star HD 77581 has produced this graceful arcing bow wave or "bow shock" - compressing the gaseous material in its path.
Io Volcano: Pele's Hot Lava
Glowing hot lava from the heart of Io's volcano Pele is visible in this false-color infrared composite image. It was recorded last month during the Galileo spacecraft's close flyby of the Jovian moon.
3C 295: X-rays From A Giant Galaxy
Did this galaxy eat too much? Five billion light-years away, the giant elliptical galaxy 3C295 is a prodigious source of energy at radio wavelengths. Bright knots of X-ray emission are also seen at the center of this false-color Chandra Observatory image of the region.
A Leonids Meteor Storm in 1999
The 1999 Leonids meteor shower was not equally good for everybody. Only observers in Europe and the Middle East with clear skies near 2 am (UTC) on 1999 November 18 saw rates shoot up to a meteor every few seconds.
Leonids Above Torre de la Guaita
The 1999 Leonids Meteor Shower came to a tremendous crescendo. Observers in Europe observed a sharp peak in the number of meteors visible around 0210 UTC during the early morning hours of November 18. Meteor counts then exceeded 1000 per hour - the minimum needed to define a true meteor storm.