Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)A Supercell Thunderstorm Cloud Over Montana
Is that a spaceship or a cloud? Although it may seem like an alien mothership, it's actually a impressive thunderstorm cloud called a supercell. Such colossal storm systems center on mesocyclones -- rotating updrafts that can span several kilometers and deliver torrential rain and high winds including tornadoes.
Hungarian Spring Eclipse
Last week, as the Sun set a Full Moon rose over the springtime landscape of Tihany, Hungary on the northern shores of Lake Balaton. As it climbed into the clear sky, the Moon just grazed the dark, umbral shadow of planet Earth in the year's first partial lunar eclipse.
Horsehead: A Wider View
Combined image data from the massive, ground-based VISTA telescope and the Hubble Space Telescope was used to create this wide perspective of the interstellar landscape surrounding the famous Horsehead Nebula. Captured at near-infrared wavelengths...
Acquiring its first sunlit views of far northern Saturn late last year, the Cassini spacecraft's narrow-angle camera recorded this stunning image of the vortex at the ringed planet's north pole. The false...
Omega Centauri: The Brightest Globular Cluster
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. Of the 200 or so globular clusters that survive today, Omega Centauri is the largest, containing over ten million stars.
Humanity Explores the Solar System
What spacecraft is humanity currently using to explore our Solar System? Presently, every inner planet has at least one robotic explorer, while several others are monitoring our Sun, some are mapping Earth's Moon, a few are chasing asteroids and comets, one is orbiting Saturn, and several are even heading out into deep space.
Milky Way and Stone Tree
What's that next to the Milky Way? An unusual natural rock formation known as Roque Cinchado or Stone Tree found on the Spanish Canary Island of Tenerife. A famous icon, Roque Cinchado is likely a dense plug of cooled volcanic magma that remains after softer surrounding rock eroded away.
A Raging Storm System on Saturn
It was one of the largest and longest lived storms ever recorded in our Solar System. First seen in late 2010, the above cloud formation in the northern hemisphere of Saturn started larger than the Earth and soon spread completely around the planet.
Get out your red/blue glasses and gaze across the floor of Gale crater on Mars. From your vantage point on the deck of the Curiosity Rover Mount Sharp, the crater's 5 kilometer high central mountain looms over the southern horizon.
A Year on the Sun
Our solar system's miasma of incandescent plasma, the Sun may look a little scary here. The picture is a composite of 25 images recorded in extreme ultraviolet light by the orbiting Solar Dynamics Observatory between April 16, 2012 and April 15, 2013.