Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)RCW 114: A Dragon s Heart in Ara
Large and dramatically shaped, this cosmic cloud spans nearly 7 degrees or 14 full moons across planet Earth's sky toward the southern constellation Ara. Difficult to image, the filamentary apparition is cataloged as RCW 114 and traced in this telescopic mosaic by the telltale reddish emission of ionized hydrogen atoms.
NGC 2623: Merging Galaxies from Hubble
Where do stars form when galaxies collide? To help find out, astronomers imaged the nearby galaxy merger NGC 2623 in high resolution with the Hubble Space Telescope. Analysis of this and other Hubble images...
Bright Planetary Nebula NGC 7027 from Hubble
It is one of the brightest planetary nebulae on the sky -- what should it be named? First discovered in 1878, nebula NGC 7027 can be seen toward the constellation of the Swan (Cygnus) with a standard backyard telescope.
Clouds of Andromeda
What are those red clouds surrounding the Andromeda galaxy? This galaxy, M31, is often imaged by planet Earth-based astronomers. As the nearest large spiral galaxy, it is a familiar sight with dark dust lanes, bright yellowish core, and spiral arms traced by clouds of bright blue stars.
A Tether in Space
One of the greatest unrequited legends of outer space is the tether. Tethers, long strands of material, hold the promise of stabilizing satellites, generating electricity, and allowing easy transportation. Possibly the most ambitious vision of the space tether is the space elevator popularized by Arthur C.
Planets on the Wing
Lately, bright Jupiter and fainter Mars have been easy to spot for early morning skygazers. Before dawn on January 7 the two naked-eye planets will reach a close conjunction near the horizon, only 1/4 degree apart in predawn eastern skies. That apparent separation corresponds to about half the angular diameter of a Full Moon.
Carina over Lake Ballard
A jewel of the southern sky, the Great Carina Nebula, also known as NGC 3372, is one of our galaxy's largest star forming regions. Easily visible to the unaided eye it stands high...
M1: The Incredible Expanding Crab
The Crab Nebula is cataloged as M1, the first on Charles Messier's famous list of things which are not comets. In fact, the Crab is now known to be a supernova remnant, an expanding cloud of debris from the explosion of a massive star.
The Helix Nebula from CFHT
Will our Sun look like this one day? The Helix Nebula is one of brightest and closest examples of a planetary nebula, a gas cloud created at the end of the life of a Sun-like star.
Unexpected X Rays from Perseus Galaxy Cluster
Why does the Perseus galaxy cluster shine so strangely in one specific color of X-rays? No one is sure, but a much-debated hypothesis holds that these X-rays are a clue to the long-sought identity of dark matter.