Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Anticrepuscular Rays Over Colorado
What's happening over the horizon? Although the scene may appear somehow supernatural, nothing more unusual is occurring than a setting Sun and some well placed clouds. Pictured above are anticrepuscular rays. To understand them, start by picturing common crepuscular rays that are seen any time that sunlight pours though scattered clouds.
The two prominent stars in the foreground of this colorful skyscape are well within our own Milky Way Galaxy. Their spiky appearance is due to diffraction in the astronomer's telescope. But the two eye-catching galaxies in view lie far beyond the Milky Way, at a distance of about 200 million light-years.
Fomalhaut (sounds like "foam-a-lot") is a bright, young, star, a short 25 light-years from planet Earth in the direction of the constellation Piscis Austrinus. In this sharp composite from the Hubble Space Telescope, Fomalhaut...
A Bubble in Cygnus
Adrift in the rich star fields of the constellation Cygnus, this lovely, symmetric bubble nebula was only recently recognized and may not yet appear in astronomical catalogs. In fact, amateur astronomer Dave Jurasevich identified...
Phoenix and the Holy Cow
The northern Martian summer is waning. As predicted, a decline in daylight hours, deteriorating weather, and dust storms are preventing solar arrays on the Phoenix Mars Lander from providing power. Phoenix's last signal...
The Cosmic Web of the Tarantula Nebula
First cataloged as a star, 30 Doradus is actually an immense star forming region in nearby galaxy The Large Magellanic Cloud. The region's spidery appearance is responsible for its popular name, the Tarantula nebula, except that this tarantula is about 1,000 light-years across, and 180,000 light-years away in the southern constellation Dorado.
Our Galaxy s Central Molecular Zone
The central region of our Milky Way Galaxy is a mysterious and complex place. Pictured here in radio and infrared light, the galaxy's central square degree is highlighted in fine detail. The region is known as the Central Molecular Zone.
Two Black Holes Dancing in 3C 75
What's happening at the center of active galaxy 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.
On the Trail of 2008 TC3
On October 7, the early dawn over northern Sudan revealed this twisted, high altitude trail. Captured in a video frame, the long-lasting persistent train is from the impact of a small asteroid cataloged as 2008 TC3.
In this colorful mosaic, filaments of gas and dust span some 9 degrees across central Cygnus, a nebula rich constellation along the northern Milky Way. A trio of nebulae with popular names highlights the beautiful skyscape - the Butterfly, the Crescent, and the Tulip.