Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Vela Supernova Remnant
The plane of our Milky Way Galaxy runs through this complex and beautiful skyscape. At the northwestern edge of the constellation Vela (the Sails) the four frame mosaic is over 10 degrees wide, centered on the glowing filaments of the Vela Supernova Remnant, the expanding debris cloud from the death explosion of a massive star.
Cepheus: Trunk to Bubble
Star clusters, glowing nebulae and dark dust clouds abound in Cepheus, royal constellation of the northern hemisphere. You can follow them in amazing detail across this broad skyscape, a mosaic of telescopic images spanning about 17 degrees. Beginning at the lower left, the large emission nebula is cataloged as IC 1396.
NGC 4911: Spiral Diving into a Dense Cluster
Why are there faint rings around this spiral galaxy? Possibly because the galaxy, NGC 4911, is being pulled at by its neighbors as it falls into the enormous Coma Cluster of Galaxies.
Space Shuttle Tribute Poster: Endeavour
They are some of the most complex machines ever built. From a standing start they can launch a school- bus sized object up so high and moving so fast that it won't fall back down.
A Laser Strike at the Galactic Center
Why are these people shooting a powerful laser into the center of our Galaxy? Fortunately, this is not meant to be the first step in a Galactic war. Rather, astronomers at the Very Large Telescope (VLT) site in Chile are trying to measure the distortions of Earth's ever changing atmosphere.
GRO J1655 40: Evidence for a Spinning Black Hole
In the center of a swirling whirlpool of hot gas is likely a beast that has never been seen directly: a black hole. Studies of the bright light emitted by the swirling gas frequently indicate not only that a black hole is present, but also likely attributes.
Young Suns of NGC 7129
Young suns still lie within dusty NGC 7129, some 3,000 light-years away toward the royal constellation Cepheus. While these stars are at a relatively tender age, only a few million years old, it is likely that our own Sun formed in a similar stellar nursery some five billion years ago.
The Small Cloud of Magellan
Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan and his crew had plenty of time to study the southern sky during the first circumnavigation of planet Earth. As a result, two celestial wonders easily visible for southern hemisphere skygazers are known as the Clouds of Magellan.
The Bubble Nebula
Blown by the wind from a massive star, this interstellar apparition has a surprisingly familiar shape. Cataloged as NGC 7635, it is also known simply as The Bubble Nebula. Although it looks delicate, the 10 light-year diameter bubble offers evidence of violent processes at work.
Earth and Moon from MESSENGER
What does Earth look like from the planet Mercury? The robotic spacecraft MESSENGER found out as it looked toward the Earth during its closest approach to the Sun about three months ago. The Earth and Moon are visible as the double spot on the lower left of the above image.