Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Solstice Sun In Soft X-rays
The solstice occurs today at 8:56 PM Eastern Standard Time. At the solstice the sun reaches its most southerly position in the sky and winter begins for the Northern Hemisphere while summer starts South of the Equator.
Edge On Spiral Galaxy NGC 891
Is our Galaxy this thin? We believe so. The Milky Way, like NGC 891 pictured above, has the width of a typical spiral galaxy. Spirals have most of their bright stars, gas, and obscuring dust in a thin disk.
Cartwheel Of Fortune
By chance, a collision of two galaxies has created a surprisingly recognizable shape on a cosmic scale - "The Cartwheel Galaxy". The Cartwheel is part of a group of galaxies about 500 million light years away in the constellation Sculptor (two smaller galaxies in the group are visible on the right).
TT Cygni: Carbon Star
TT Cygni is a cool red giant star with a wind. This false-color picture of TT Cyg was made using a coordinated array of millimeter wavelength radio telescopes and shows radio emission from carbon monoxide (CO) molecules in the surrounding gas.
The Night Shift
For the orbiting International Space Station (ISS), the sun sets every 90 minutes. But working through the night, spacewalking astronauts can rely on artificial lighting. Here, the eerie glow of work-lights illuminate Space Shuttle Endeavor astronaut Jerry Ross during a night on his
3-D Mars North Pole
This dramatic premier three-dimensional visualization of Mars' north pole is based on elevation measurements made by an orbiting laser. During the Spring and Summer of 1998 the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) flashed laser pulses toward the Martian surface from the Global Surveyor spacecraft and recorded the time it took to detect the reflection.
Plains and Ridges on Europa
The ridges on Europa may be caused by cold water volcanoes. Europa, one of the largest moons of Jupiter, has been the source of intense scrutiny since speculation increased of there being oceans beneath its icy surface.
The Hubble Deep Field South
Among the faintest objects are some of the most unusual objects. The Hubble Deep Field South was released after much anticipation earlier this month, delivering a unique view of some of the most distant parts of our universe. Part of this field is shown above.
Blasting Off from the Moon
How did the astronauts get back from the Moon? The Lunar Module that landed two astronauts on the Moon actually came apart. The top part containing the astronauts carried additional rocket fuel which allowed it to blast away, leaving the bottom part on the Moon forever.
Driving To The Sun
How long would it take to drive to the Sun? Brittany, age 7, and D.J., age 12, ponder this question over dinner one evening. James, also age 7, suggests taking a really fast racing car while Christopher, age 4, eagerly agrees.