Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Solstice Celebration
Season's greetings! Today or tomorrow, depending on your time zone, the Sun reaches its northernmost point in planet Earth's sky marking a season change and the first solstice of the year 2004. In celebration, consider this delightfully detailed, brightly colored image of the active Sun.
Ida and Dactyl: Asteroid and Moon
This asteroid has a moon! The robot spacecraft Galileo destined to explore the Jovian system, encountered and photographed two asteroids during its long interplanetary voyage to Jupiter. The second asteroid it photographed, Ida, was discovered to have a moon which appears as a small dot to the right of Ida in this image from 1993.
The Trifid Nebula from Hubble
Clouds of glowing gas mingle with lanes of dark dust in the Trifid Nebula, a star forming region toward the constellation of Sagittarius. In the center, the three huge dark dust lanes that give the Trifid its name all come together.
Comet NEAT and the Beehive Cluster
To the unaided eye, they appeared as similar fuzzy patches. But when a bright comet passed in front of a bright star cluster last month, binoculars and cameras were able to show off their marked differences in dramatic fashion.
Elliptical Galaxy M87
Elliptical galaxy M87 is a type of galaxy that looks much different than our own Milky Way Galaxy. Even for an elliptical galaxy, though, M87 is peculiar. M87 is much bigger than an average...
A Rare Annular Venusian Solar Eclipse
An unusual type of solar eclipse occurred last week. Usually it is the Earth's Moon that eclipses the Sun. Last week, for the first time in over 100 years, the planet Venus took a turn.
Unusual Layers on Saturns Moon Phoebe
What caused the unusual light and dark layers on Saturn's moon Phoebe? The layers were discovered just Friday during the Cassini spacecraft flyby of the small moon. Such layering is particularly evident on the crater just above the image center, where alternating light and dark material makes this crater appear particularly structured.
Volcano and Aurora in Iceland
Sometimes both heaven and Earth erupt. In Iceland in 1991, the volcano Hekla erupted at the same time that auroras were visible overhead. Hekla, one of the most famous volcanoes in the world, has erupted at least 20 times over the past millennium, sometimes causing great destruction.
NGC 4676: When Mice Collide
These two mighty galaxies are pulling each other apart. Known as "The Mice" because they have such long tails, each spiral galaxy has likely already passed through the other. They will probably collide again and again until they coalesce.
Venus and the Chromosphere
Enjoying the 2004 Transit of Venus from Stuttgart, Germany, astronomer Stefan Seip recorded this fascinating, detailed image of the Sun. Revealing a network of cells and dark filaments against a bright solar disk with spicules and prominences along the Sun's limb, his telescopic picture was taken through an H-alpha filter.