Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Layers of a Total Solar Eclipse
Neither rain, nor snow, nor dark of night can keep a space-based spacecraft from watching the Sun. In fact, from its vantage point 1.5 million kilometers sunward of planet Earth, NASA's SOlar Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) can always monitor the Sun's outer atmosphere, or corona.
Cassinis Last Ring Portrait at Saturn
How should Cassini say farewell to Saturn? Three days before plunging into Saturn's sunny side, the robotic Cassini spacecraft swooped far behind Saturn's night side with cameras blazing. Thirty-six of these images...
Massive Shell Expelling Star G79 29 0 46
Stars this volatile are quite rare. Captured in the midst of dust clouds and visible to the right and above center is massive G79.29+0.46, one of less than 100 luminous blue variable stars (LBVs) currently known in our Galaxy.
How to Identify that Light in the Sky
What is that light in the sky? Perhaps one of humanity's more common questions, an answer may result from a few quick observations. For example -- is it moving or blinking?
A Conjunction of Comets
A conjunction of comets is captured in this pretty star field from the morning of September 17. Discovered in July by a robotic sky survey searching for supernovae, comet C/2017 O1 ASASSN is at the lower left. The visible greenish glow of its coma is produced by the fluorescence of diatomic carbon molecules in sunlight.
Solar Eclipse Solargraph
Today is the September equinox. Heading south, the Sun's path through the sky will cross the celestial equator at 20:02 UT. Of course the equinox date results in (mostly) equal night and day all over planet Earth.
A September Morning Sky
The Moon, three planets, and a bright star gathered near the ecliptic plane in the September 18 morning sky over Veszprem Castle, Hungary. In this twilight skyscape, Mercury and Mars still shine close to the eastern horizon, soon to disappear in the glare of the Sun.
The Big Corona
Most photographs don't adequately portray the magnificence of the Sun's corona. Seeing the corona first-hand during a total solar eclipse is unparalleled. The human eye can adapt to see coronal features and extent that average cameras usually cannot. Welcome, however, to the digital age.
Veil Nebula: Wisps of an Exploded Star
Wisps like this are all that remain visible of a Milky Way star. About 7,000 years ago that star exploded in a supernova leaving the Veil Nebula. At the time, the expanding cloud was likely as bright as a crescent Moon, remaining visible for weeks to people living at the dawn of recorded history.
Orion above Easter Island
Why were the statues on Easter Island built? No one is sure. What is sure is that over 800 large stone statues exist there. The Easter Island statues, stand, on the average, over twice as tall as a person and have over 200 times as much mass.