Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)D rad Bacteria: Candidate Astronauts
These bacteria could survive on another planet. In an Earth lab, Deinococcus radiodurans (D. rad) survive extreme levels of radiation, extreme temperatures, dehydration, and exposure to genotoxic chemicals. Amazingly, they even have the ability to repair their own DNA, usually with 48 hours. Known as an extremophile, bacteria such as D.
Apollo 12: Self-Portrait
In November of 1969, Apollo 12 astronaut-photographer Charles "Pete" Conrad recorded this masterpiece while documenting colleague Alan Bean's lunar soil collection activities on the Oceanus Procellarum. The image is dramatic and stark.
LL Ori and the Orion Nebula
This esthetic close-up of cosmic clouds and stellar winds features LL Orionis, interacting with the Orion Nebula flow. Adrift in Orion's stellar nursery and still in its formative years, variable star LL Orionis produces a wind more energetic than the wind from our own middle-aged Sun.
Orion Nebula, The Hubble View
Few cosmic vistas excite the imagination like the Orion Nebula. Also known as M42, the nebula's glowing gas surrounds hot young stars at the edge of an immense interstellar molecular cloud only 1,500 light-years away.
Cartwheel Of Fortune
By chance, a collision of two galaxies has created a surprisingly recognizable shape on a cosmic scale - The Cartwheel Galaxy. The Cartwheel is part of a group of galaxies about 400 million light years away in the constellation Sculptor (two smaller galaxies in the group are visible below and left).
A Roll Cloud Over Missouri
What kind of cloud is this? A roll cloud. These rare long clouds may form near advancing cold fronts. In particular, a downdraft from an advancing storm front can cause moist warm air to rise, cool below its dew point, and so form a cloud.
Stardust Capsule Returns to Earth
A flying saucer from outer space crash-landed in the Utah desert yesterday after being tracked by radar and chased by helicopters and airplanes. Like last time, no space aliens were involved. The saucer...
The Sombrero Galaxy from HST
Why does the Sombrero Galaxy look like a hat? Reasons include the Sombrero's unusually large and extended central bulge of stars, and dark prominent dust lanes that appear in a disk that we see nearly edge-on. Billions of old stars cause the diffuse glow of the extended central bulge.
Lunokhod: Moon Robot
On November 17, 1970 the Soviet Luna 17 spacecraft landed the first roving remote-controlled robot on the Moon. Known as Lunokhod 1, it weighed just under 2,000 pounds and was designed to operate...
Stars of the Galactic Center
The center of our Milky Way Galaxy is hidden from the prying eyes of optical telescopes by clouds of obscuring dust and gas. But in this stunning vista, the Spitzer Space Telescope's infrared cameras, penetrate much of the dust revealing the stars of the crowded galactic center region.