Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)The First Explorer
Fifty years ago (on January 31, 1958) the First Explorer, was launched into Earth orbit by the Army Ballistic Missile Agency. Inaugurating the era of space exploration for the United States, Explorer I was a thirty pound satellite that carried instruments to measure temperatures, and micrometeorite impacts, along with an experiment designed by James A.
Young Star Cluster Westerlund 2
Dusty stellar nursery RCW 49 surrounds young star cluster Westerlund 2 in this remarkable composite skyscape from beyond the visible spectrum of light. Infrared data from the Spitzer Space Telescope is shown in black...
Asteroid 2007 TU24 Passes the Earth
Asteroid 2007 TU24 passed by the Earth yesterday, posing no danger. The space rock, estimated to be about 250 meters across, coasted by just outside the orbit of Earth's Moon. The passing...
West Valley Panorama from the Spirit Rover on Mars
What does Mars look like from here? Last September, before hiking across rugged and slippery terrain to reach its winter hibernation point, the robotic Spirit rover climbed a small plateau known as Home Plate and captured the spectacular vista pictured above.
A Solar Eclipse Painting from the 1700s
Is this painting the earliest realistic depiction of a total eclipse of the Sun? Some historians believe it is. The above painting was completed in 1735 by Cosmas Damian Asam, a painter and architect famous in early eighteenth century Germany.
Mercury on the Horizon
Have you ever seen the planet Mercury? Because Mercury orbits so close to the Sun, it never wanders far from the Sun in Earth's sky. If trailing the Sun, Mercury will be visible low on the horizon for only a short while after sunset.
Crescent Mercury in Color
Hard to spot against the twilight glow near planet Earth's horizon, a crescent Mercury was imaged close up by the MESSENGER spacecraft early last week. Colors in this remarkable picture were created using data recorded through infrared, red, and violet filters.
Winter Night at Pic du Midi
This dreamlike view looking south from the historic mountain top Pic du Midi Observatory combines moonlit domes, a winter night sky, and the snowy peaks of the French Pyrenees. Encroaching on the night, lights...
Andromeda Island Universe
The most distant object easily visible to the unaided eye is M31, the great Andromeda Galaxy some two and a half million light-years away. But without a telescope, even this immense spiral galaxy - spanning over 200,000 light years - appears as a faint, nebulous cloud in the constellation Andromeda.
Orbiting Astronaut Reflects Earth
Astronaut self-portraits can be particularly interesting. Visible in the above picture, working in from the outer borders, are the edges of the reflecting helmet of a space suit, modules of the International Space Station (ISS), the Earth, the arms of Expedition 15 astronaut Clay Anderson, and the digital camera used to snap the image.