Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Binary Black Hole in 3C 75
The two bright sources at the center of this composite x-ray (blue)/ radio (pink) image are co-orbiting supermassive black holes powering the giant radio source 3C 75. Surrounded by multimillion degree x-ray emitting gas, and blasting out jets of relativistic particles the supermassive black holes are separated by 25,000 light-years.
A Sun Halo over Utah
Have you ever seen a halo around the Sun? This fairly common sight occurs when high thin clouds containing millions of tiny ice crystals cover much of the sky. Each ice crystal acts like a miniature lens.
Mars: The View from HiRISE
HiRISE - the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment - rides on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)spacecraft just arrived in Mars orbit on March 10. This sharp view of the martian surface from the HiRISE camera includes image data with a full resolution of about 2.5 meters per pixel - recorded from a range of 2,500 kilometers.
Molecular Cloud Barnard 68
Where did all the stars go? What used to be considered a hole in the sky is now known to astronomers as a dark molecular cloud. Here, a high concentration of dust and molecular gas absorb practically all the visible light emitted from background stars.
During the March 29 total solar eclipse, the Moon's dark central shadow or umbra is vanishing beyond the horizon in this dramatic view of the landscape a few kilometers southeast of Incesu, Anatolia, Turkey. The large, snow covered mountain in the distance is 3,250 meter high volcano Hasan Dag.
The Crown of the Sun
During a total solar eclipse, the Sun's extensive outer atmosphere or corona is an awesome and inspirational sight. The subtle shades and shimmering features of the corona that engage the eye span a brightness range of over 10,000 to 1, making them notoriously difficult to capture in a single picture.
Unusual Bright Soil on Mars
What is this bright soil on Mars? Several times while rolling across Mars, the treads of the robotic rover Spirit have serendipitously uncovered unusually bright soil. Spirit uncovered another batch unexpectedly last month while rolling toward its winter hibernation location on McCool Hill.
Slightly Beneath Saturns Ring Plane
When orbiting Saturn, be sure to watch for breathtaking superpositions of moons, rings, and shadows. One such picturesque vista was visible recently to the robot Cassini spacecraft now orbiting Saturn. In late February, Cassini captured a Rhea, the second largest moon of Saturn, while looking up from slightly beneath Saturn's expansive ring plane.
A Total Solar Eclipse over Turkey
Some views of last week's total eclipse of the Sun were better than others. One spectacular view occurred over Adrasan (near Antalya), Turkey and was captured there by industrious astrophotographer Stefan Seip. The above digital mosaic caught the Moon in several stages as it moved between the Earth and the Sun.
Stars and Dust Across Corona Australis
A cosmic dust cloud sprawls across a rich field of stars in this gorgeous wide field telescopic vista looking toward Corona Australis, the Southern Crown. Probably less than 500 light-years away and effectively blocking...