Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Perseid, Aurora, and Noctilucent Clouds
Night skies over northern Sweden can hold some tantalizing sights in August. Gazing toward the Big Dipper, this beautiful northern skyscape captures three of them in a single frame taken last August 12/13. Though receding from northern skies for the season, night shining or noctilucent clouds are hanging just above the horizon.
Colliding Galaxies in Stephans Quintet
Will either of these galaxies survive? In what might be dubbed as a semi-final round in a galactic elimination tournament, the two spirals of NGC 7318 are colliding. The featured picture was created from images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope.
Mars at Closest Approach 2016
When does Mars appear the largest? This occurs when Earth sweeps past Mars in their respective orbits around the Sun, creating a momentary Sun-Earth-Mars alignment called opposition. The featured video shows the Mars opposition that occurred earlier this year. All of the images were taken from Earth with a small telescope.
Perseid Meteors over Mount Shasta
Where are all of these meteors coming from? In terms of direction on the sky, the pointed answer is the constellation of Perseus. That is why the meteor shower that peaks later this week is known as the Perseids -- the meteors all appear to came from a radiant toward Perseus.
Io: Moon over Jupiter
How big is Jupiter's moon Io? The most volcanic body in the Solar System, Io (usually pronounced "EYE-oh") is 3,600 kilometers in diameter, about the size of planet Earth's single large natural satellite.
Las Campanas Moon and Mercury
Last Thursday the view toward sunset from the 2.5 kilometer summit of Cerro Las Campanas in the remote Chilean Andes was amazing. Bright but fading Mercury stood very close to a two day old Moon. Both a sunlit lunar crescent and earthlit lunar nightside are captured with the fleeting innermost planet in this breathtaking mountainscape.
Apollo 15 Panorama
On July 31, 1971, Apollo 15 astronauts Jim Iwrin and Dave Scott deployed the first Lunar Roving Vehicle on the Moon. Using it to explore their Hadley-Apennine landing site they spent nearly three days on the Moon while Al Worden orbited above.
M63: Sunflower Galaxy Wide Field
The Sunflower Galaxy blooms near the center of this wide field telescopic view. The scene spans about 2 degrees or 4 full moons on the sky toward the loyal constellation Canes Venatici. More formally...
Behold the Universe
What if you climbed up on a rock and discovered the Universe? You can. Although others have noted much of it before, you can locate for yourself stars, planets, and even the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy. All you need is a dark clear sky -- the rock is optional.
A Rocket Booster Falls Back to Earth
What's that crossing the sky? Although it looked a bit like a large meteor, it was actually the booster of a Chinese rocket returning to Earth after its launch two days earlier.