Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)A Magellanic Mural
Two galaxies stand out to casual observers in Earth's Southern Hemisphere: the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) and the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC). These irregular galaxies are two of the closest galaxies to our Milky Way Galaxy.
A Triple Eclipse on Jupiter
Part of Jupiter is missing. Actually, three parts appear to be missing. In reality though, the three dark spots seen in the above photograph are only shadows. The unusual alignment of three of Jupiter's moons between the Jovian giant and the Sun was imaged last November 10th.
NGC 1977: Blue Reflection Nebula in Orion
The Orion Nebula is visible to the unaided eye as a fuzzy patch near the famous belt of three stars in the constellation Orion. The above picture captures a part of the Orion Nebula that primarily reflects light from bright Orion stars.
Hamlet of Oberon
What's in a name? Since 1919, the International Astronomical Union has been charged with the task of establishing "conventional" nomenclature for planets, satellites, and surface features. For the remote Uranian system of moons, namesakes from Shakespearean works have been chosen.
Tempel-Tuttle: The Leonid Comet
Star trails streak this composite time exposure of Comet Tempel-Tuttle recorded by T. Puckett on January 26. Presently passing through the inner solar system on its 33 year orbit around the Sun, Tempel-Tuttle has brightened unexpectedly, but binoculars or small telescopes are still required to visually observe it.
The Earth-Moon System
This evocative mosaic image of the Earth-Moon system was recorded by NASA's Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) spacecraft earlier this month. The relative sizes shown are appropriate for viewing both the Earth...
The Infrared Sky
Three major sources contribute to the far-infrared sky: our Solar System, our Galaxy, and our Universe. The above image, in representative colors, is a projection of the entire infrared sky created from years of observations by the robot spacecraft COBE.
The Great Nebula in Orion
The Great Nebula in Orion can be found just below and to the left of the easily identifiable belt of three stars in the popular constellation Orion. This fuzzy patch contains one of the closest stellar nurseries, lying at a distance of about 1500 light years.
Interplanetary Spaceship Passes Earth
Last Thursday an interplanetary spacecraft flew right past the Earth. The above images show sunlight momentarily reflected from this spacecraft's solar panels. No aliens were involved - the Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) mission actually originated from Earth. Launched in 1996, NEAR zipped past the asteroid 253 Mathilde last June.
The Small Cloud of Magellan (SMC)
Almost unknown to casual observers in the northern hemisphere, the southern sky contains two diffuse wonders known as the Magellanic Clouds. The Magellanic Clouds are small irregular galaxies orbiting our own larger Milky Way spiral galaxy.