Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Pioneer 10: The First 6 Billion Miles
Q: What was made by humans and is 6.5 billion miles away? A: Pioneer 10 - and last year was the 25th anniversary of its launch. More than 9.5 light-hours distant, Pioneer 10 is presently about twice as far from the Sun as Pluto, bound for interstellar space at 28,000 miles per hour.
Good Morning Mars
Looking down on the Northern Hemisphere of Mars on June 1, the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft's wide angle camera recorded this morning image of the red planet. Mars Global Surveyor's orbit...
Cosmic Rays and Supernova Dust
Cosmic Rays are celestial high energy particles traveling at nearly the speed of light, which constantly bombard the Earth. Discovered during high altitude balloon flights in 1912 their source has been a long standing mystery.
The Sloan Digital Sky Survey Telescope
The Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) will soon begin. Pictured above is the 2.5-meter telescope poised to create the most ambitious sky map in the history of astronomy. SDSS will catalog one quarter of the sky down past 23rd magnitude ( R), obtaining redshifts for galaxies and quasars brighter than magnitude 19.
An Active Region of the Sun
The Sun is a busy place. This false-color image depicts an active region near an edge of the Sun. Hot plasma is seen exploding off the Sun's photosphere and traveling along loops defined by the Sun's magnetic field.
NGC 4314: A Nuclear Starburst Ring
Is this old galaxy up to new tricks? The barred spiral galaxy NGC 4314 is billions of years old, but its appearance has changed markedly over just the past few millions of years. During that time, a nuclear ring of bright young stars has been evolving.
Giant Cluster Bends, Breaks Images
What are those strange blue objects? Many are images of a single, unusual, beaded, blue, ring-like galaxy which just happens to line-up behind a giant cluster of galaxies. Cluster galaxies here appear yellow and -- together with the cluster's dark matter -- act as a gravitational lens.
Henize 70: A SuperBubble In The LMC
Stars with tens of times the mass of the Sun profoundly affect their galactic environment. Churning and mixing the interstellar gas and dust clouds they leave their mark in the compositions and locations of future generations of stars and star systems.
Orion Nebula: The 2MASS View
Few astronomical sights excite the imagination like the nearby stellar nursery known as the Orion Nebula. The Nebula's glowing gas surrounds hot young stars at the edge of an immense interstellar molecular cloud only 1,500 light-years away.
SOHOs Twin Sungrazers
This four frame animation (courtesy D. Biesecker) shows two comets arcing toward a fatal fiery encounter with the Sun. These discovery images were recorded by the LASCO instrument on board the space-based SOHO solar observatory on June 1-2.