Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Our Galaxy s Central Molecular Zone
The central region of our Milky Way Galaxy is a mysterious and complex place. Pictured here in radio and infrared light, the galaxy's central square degree is highlighted in fine detail. The region is known as the Central Molecular Zone.
Two Black Holes Dancing in 3C 75
What's happening at the center of active galaxy 3C 75? The two bright sources at the center of this composite x-ray (blue)/ radio (pink) image are co-orbiting supermassive black holes powering the giant radio source 3C 75.
On the Trail of 2008 TC3
On October 7, the early dawn over northern Sudan revealed this twisted, high altitude trail. Captured in a video frame, the long-lasting persistent train is from the impact of a small asteroid cataloged as 2008 TC3.
In this colorful mosaic, filaments of gas and dust span some 9 degrees across central Cygnus, a nebula rich constellation along the northern Milky Way. A trio of nebulae with popular names highlights the beautiful skyscape - the Butterfly, the Crescent, and the Tulip.
A Sharper View of a Hazy Giant
This dramatic image of Jupiter is touted as the sharpest picture of the entire gas giant ever taken from the ground. The picture was made using a prototype instrument known as MAD (Multi-conjugate Adaptive optics Demonstrator) mounted on one of the European Southern Observatory's 8-meter diameter Very Large Telescope units in Chile.
Seventeen Hundred Kilometers Above Enceladus
Above is one of the closest pictures yet obtained of Saturn's ice-spewing moon Enceladus. The image was taken from about 1,700 kilometers up as the robotic Cassini spacecraft zoomed by the fractured ice ball last week.
The Double Ring Galaxies of Arp 147 from Hubble
How could a galaxy become shaped like a ring? Even more strange: how could two? The rim of the blue galaxy pictured on the right shows an immense ring-like structure 30,000 light years in diameter composed of newly formed, extremely bright, massive stars.
A Spectacular Rayed Crater on Mercury
Why does Mercury have so many rayed craters? No one is sure. The robotic MESSENGER spacecraft that is taking unprecedented images as it swoops past the innermost planet has provided dramatic confirmation that Mercury has more rayed craters than Earth's Moon.
Spicules: Jets on the Sun
Imagine a pipe as wide as a state and as long as half the Earth. Now imagine that this pipe is filled with hot gas moving 50,000 kilometers per hour. Further imagine that this pipe is not made of metal but a transparent magnetic field.
A Spectre in the Eastern Veil
Menacing flying forms and garish colors are a mark of the Halloween season. They also stand out in this cosmic close-up of the eastern Veil Nebula. The Veil Nebula itself is a large supernova remnant, the expanding debris cloud from the death explosion of a massive star.