Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Z Machine Sets Unexpected Earth Temperature Record
Why is this plasma so hot? Physicists aren't sure. What is known for sure is that the Z Machine running at Sandia National Laboratories created a plasma that was unexpectedly hot. The plasma...
Globular Cluster M3 from WIYN
This huge ball of stars predates our Sun. Long before humankind evolved, before dinosaurs roamed, and even before our Earth existed, ancient globs of stars condensed and orbited a young Milky Way Galaxy.
Colors of Comet Pojmanski
Comet Pojmanski flew by planet Earth last weekend on a surprise trip through the inner solar system. Then an easy binocular target for morning skygazers, Pojmanski ultimately showed off a long tail, but it also presented some lovely green-blue hues as gas molecules in its tenuous coma and tail fluoresced in the sunlight.
Enceladus and the Search for Water
Based on data from Cassini spacecraft instruments, researchers are now arguing that liquid water reservoirs exist only tens of meters below the surface of Saturn's small (500 kilometer diameter) but active moon Enceladus. The exciting new results center around towering jets and plumes of material erupting from the moon's surface.
This popular group is famous as the Leo Triplet - a gathering of three magnificent galaxies in one field of view. Crowd pleasers when imaged with even modest telescopes, these galaxies can be introduced individually as NGC 3628 (top), M66 (bottom left), and M65 (bottom right). All three are large spiral galaxies.
Earths Shrinking Antarctic Ice Sheet
Is the continent at the end of the Earth slowly melting? For millions of years, Antarctica, the frozen continent at the southern end of planet Earth, has been encased in a gigantic sheet of ice. Recently, the orbiting robotic GRACE satellite has been taking sensitive measurements of the gravity for the entire Earth, including Antarctica.
A Nearby Supernova in Spiral Galaxy M100
One of the nearer supernovas of recent years was discovered last month in the bright nearby galaxy M100. The supernova, dubbed SN 2006X, is still near its maximum brightness and visible with a telescope...
Unexpected Comet Pojmanski Now Visible
Have you ever seen a comet? Comets bright enough to be visible to the unaided eye appear only every few years. Right now, however, a new comet has brightened unexpectedly and is visible as a faint streak to the unaided northern observer in the eastern morning sky just before sunrise. Binoculars may help.
Colorful Light Pillars
How can an aurora appear so near the ground? Pictured above are not aurora but nearby light pillars, a local phenomenon that can appear as a distant one. In most places on Earth...
The Galaxy Within Centaurus A
Peering deep inside Centaurus A, the closest active galaxy to Earth, the Spitzer Space Telescope's penetrating infrared cameras recorded this startling vista in February 2004. About 1,000 light-years across, the twisted cosmic...