Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Dust Mountains in the Carina Nebula
Bright young stars sometimes sculpt picturesque dust mountains soon after being born. Created quite by accident, the energetic light and winds from these massive newborn stars burn away accumulations of dark dust and cool gas in a slow but persistent manner.
Layers of Cliffs in Northern Mars
How did these layers of red cliffs form on Mars? No one is sure. The northern ice cap on Mars is nearly divided into two by a huge division named Chasma Boreale. No similar formation occurs on Earth. Pictured above, several dusty layers leading into this deep chasm are visible.
Earth at Night
This is what the Earth looks like at night. Can you find your favorite country or city? Surprisingly, city lights make this task quite possible. Human-made lights highlight particularly developed or populated areas of the Earth's surface, including the seaboards of Europe, the eastern United States, and Japan.
A Solar Prominence Unfurls
On September 29, this magnificent eruptive solar prominence lifted away from the Sun's surface, unfurling into space over the course of several hours. Suspended in twisted magnetic fields, the hot plasma structure is many times the size of planet Earth and was captured in this view by the Sun-watching STEREO (Ahead) spacecraft.
Young Suns of NGC 7129
Young suns still lie within dusty NGC 7129, some 3,000 light-years away toward the royal constellation Cepheus. While these stars are at a relatively tender age, only about a million years old, it is likely that our own Sun formed in a similar stellar nursery some five billion years ago.
NGC 253 Close Up
This dusty island universe is one of the brightest spiral galaxies in the sky. Seen nearly edge-on, NGC 253 lies a mere 13 million light-years away and is the largest member of the Sculptor Group of galaxies, neighbor to our own local galaxy group.
The First Rocket Launch from Cape Canaveral
A new chapter in space flight began on 1950 July with the launch of the first rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida: the Bumper 2. Shown above, the Bumper 2 was an ambitious two-stage rocket program that topped a V-2 missile base with a WAC Corporal rocket.
Can you spot the Solar System's four rocky planets? In the above image taken on September 20, all of them were visible in a single glance, but some of them may be different than you think. Pictured above, the brightest and highest object in the sky is the planet Venus.
A True Image from False Kiva
Is there any place in the world you could see a real sight like this? Yes. Pictured above is single exposure image spectacular near, far, and in between. Diving into the Earth far in the distance is part of the central band of our Milky Way Galaxy, taken with a long duration exposure.
Young Stars of NGC 346
The massive stars of NGC 346 are short lived, but very energetic. The star cluster is embedded in the largest star forming region in the Small Magellanic Cloud, some 210,000 light-years distant. Their...