Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Medieval Astronomy from Melk Abbey
Discovered by accident, this manuscript page provides graphical insight to astronomy in medieval times, before the Renaissance and the influence of Nicolaus Copernicus, Tycho de Brahe, Johannes Kepler, and Galileo. The intriguing page...
Castle and Full Moon
Clouds couldn't hide this bright Full Moon as it rose last week over the medieval castle of Tourrette-Levens near Nice, France. Exactly full on April 9 at 1456 UT, it followed the March equinox, making it the first Full Moon of spring in the north and autumn in the southern hemisphere.
Jagged Shadows May Indicate Saturn Ring Particles
What's causing unusual jagged shadows on Saturn's rings? No one is yet sure. As Saturn nears equinox, its rings increasingly show only their thin edge to the Earth and Sun. As a result, Saturn's moons now commonly cast long shadows onto the rings.
M101: The Pinwheel Galaxy
Why do many galaxies appear as spirals? A striking example is M101, shown above, whose relatively close distance of about 27 million light years allow it to be studied in some detail. Recent evidence...
M39: Open Cluster in Cygnus
Lying just at the limit of human perception is a picturesque starfield containing one of the larger open clusters on the northern sky. Spanning an angle larger than the Moon, M39's relatively few stars lie only about 800 light years distant toward the constellation of Cygnus.
The Big Picture
Intricate, glowing nebulae that shine in planet Earth's night sky are beautiful to look at in deep images made with telescopes and sensitive cameras. But they are faint and otherwise invisible to the naked-eye. That makes their relative location and extent on the sky difficult to appreciate.
ISS and Astronaut
These two frames, taken with a video camera and a telescope, reveal remarkable details of the International Space Station (ISS) orbiting some 350 kilometers above planet Earth. Recorded during last month's visit...
Venus Near Inferior Conjunction
This remarkable picture of a slender crescent Venus was made during daylight hours on March 26. Venus was then very near inferior conjunction, its closest approach to a point on a line directly between Earth and the Sun.
Unusual Dusty Galaxy NGC 7049
How was this unusual looking galaxy created? No one is sure, especially since spiral galaxy NGC 7049 looks so strange. NGC 7049's strikingly appearance is primarily due to an unusually prominent dust ring seen mostly in silhouette. The opaque ring is much darker than the din of millions of bright stars glowing behind it.
APOD: 2009 April 7 The Colliding Spiral Galaxies of Arp 274
Two galaxies are squaring off in Virgo and here are the latest pictures. When two galaxies collide, the stars that compose them usually do not. This is because galaxies are mostly empty space and, however bright, stars only take up only a small fraction of that space.