Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)The Red Spider Planetary Nebula
Oh what a tangled web a planetary nebula can weave. The Red Spider Planetary Nebula shows the complex structure that can result when a normal star ejects its outer gases and becomes a white dwarf star.
What glows in the night? This night, several unusual glows were evident -- some near, but some far. The foreground surf glimmers blue with the light of bioluminescent plankton. Next out, Earth's atmosphere dims the horizon and provides a few opaque clouds. Further out, the planet Venus glows bright near the image center.
Two Million Stars on the Move
If you could watch the night sky for one million years -- how would it change? Besides local effects caused by the Earth's spin and the reorientation of the Earth's spin axis, the stars themselves will move.
Life Enabling Plumes above Enceladus
Does Enceladus have underground oceans that could support life? The discovery of jets spewing water vapor and ice was detected by the Saturn-orbiting Cassini spacecraft in 2005. The origin of the water feeding the jets, however, was originally unknown.
Luminous Salar de Uyuni
A scene in high contrast this thoughtful night skyscape is a modern composition inspired by M. C. Escher's lithograph Phosphorescent Sea. In it, bright familiar stars of Orion the Hunter and Aldebaran, eye of Taurus the Bull, hang in clear dark skies above a distant horizon.
Earth Shadow over Damavand
Through crystal clear skies this beautiful panorama follows the curve of planet Earth's shadow rising across the top of the world. The tantalizing twilight view is composed of eight single frames captured from 4,000 meters above sea level at sunset on April 6.
Moons and Jupiter
On April 10, a Full Moon and Jupiter shared this telephoto field of view. Both were near opposition, opposite the Sun in Earth's night sky. Captured when a passing cloud bank dimmmed...
This group is popular in the northern spring. Famous as the Leo Triplet, the three magnificent galaxies gather in one field of view. Crowd pleasers when imaged with even modest telescopes, they can be introduced individually as NGC 3628 (left), M66 (bottom right), and M65 (top).
Man, Dog, Sun
This was supposed to be a shot of trees in front of a setting Sun. Sometimes, though, the unexpected can be photogenic. During some planning shots, a man walking his dog unexpected crossed the ridge. The result was so striking that, after cropping, it became the main shot.
Galaxy Cluster Gas Creates Hole in Microwave Background
Why would this cluster of galaxy punch a hole in the cosmic microwave background (CMB)? First, the famous CMB was created by cooling gas in the early universe and flies right through most gas and dust in the universe. It is all around us.