Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Unusual M82: The Cigar Galaxy
Something strange happened to this galaxy, but what? M82 is a nearby galaxy in the group of galaxies dominated by itself, M81, and NGC 3077. M82 is thought by some to be limping away from a close encounter with M81.
A Spiral Galaxy Gallery
A progression of beautiful spiral galaxies is illustrated above with three photographs from NASA's Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (UIT). Flying above the Earth's obscuring layer of atmosphere on the Space Shuttle Columbia during...
No asteroid or comet is known to be on a collision course with Earth. The asteroid designated 1997 XF11 had been predicted to come uncomfortably close, but new estimates place its passing beyond the orbit of the Moon. This earth-approaching asteroid was discovered by SpaceWatch astronomer Jim Scotti in December of last year.
When the Moon's shadow reached out and touched the Earth last month, the result was a Solar Eclipse. Such an eclipse is total only for observers located along a narrow path corresponding to the ground track of the shadow's dark central portion or "umbra".
A Total Eclipse of the Sun
On February 26th, it was dark during the day. This total solar eclipse was the last visible from the Americas for this millennium. A total solar eclipse is exciting partly because it is so short.
Cracks and Ridges on Europa
Which way to the interstate? What appears to be a caricature of a complex highway system on Earth is actually a system of ridges and cracks on the icy surface of Jupiter's moon Europa. The distance between parallel ridges in the above photograph is typically about 1 kilometer.
Yogi Rock on Mars
Yogi is possibly the best photographed rock on Mars. By combining many pictures taken during the Mars Pathfinder Mission last year, scientists were able to create a super-resolution, digitally enhanced image that better allows them to study Yogi's surface and more accurately determine how Yogi was formed.
Shuttle Engine Blast
The Space Shuttle Discovery's orbital maneuvering system (OMS) engine firing produced this dramatic flare as it cruised "upside down" in low Earth orbit. Discovery was named for a ship commanded by Captain James Cook RN, the 18th Century English astronomer and navigator.
NGC 1818: A Young Globular Cluster
Globular clusters once ruled the Milky Way. Back in the old days, back when our Galaxy first formed, perhaps thousands of globular clusters roamed our Galaxy. Today, there are perhaps 200 left. Many globular clusters were destroyed over the eons by repeated fateful encounters with each other or the Galactic center.
Water Ice At The Lunar Poles
After seven weeks in lunar orbit, instruments on board NASA's Lunar Prospector spacecraft have produced strong evidence for water ice on the Moon. While not in extensive sheets, this ice could be in the form of crystals, mixed in low concentrations with material in craters around the frigid North and South lunar poles.