Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)A Sun Pillar Over Maine
Have you ever seen a sun pillar? When the air is cold and the Sun is rising or setting, falling ice crystals can reflect sunlight and create an unusual column of light. Ice sometimes forms flat, stop-sign shaped crystals as it falls from high-level clouds.
APOD: 2006 January 1- The Largest Rock in the Solar System
There, that faint dot in the center - that's the largest rock known in our Solar System. It is larger than every known asteroid, moon, and comet nucleus. It is larger than any other local rocky planet.
A Year at Saturn
Arriving at Saturn in July of 2004, the Cassini spacecraft has now spent a year and a half exploring the magnificent rings and moons of the distant gas giant. The year 2005 began with Cassini's Huygens probe landing on Saturn's large moon Titan.
The Perseus Cluster of Galaxies
Here is one of the largest objects that anyone will ever see on the sky. Each of these fuzzy blobs is a galaxy, together making up the Perseus Cluster, one of the closest clusters of galaxies. The cluster is seen through a foreground of faint stars in our own Milky Way Galaxy.
The Iris Nebula from CFHT
Like delicate cosmic petals, these clouds of interstellar dust and gas have blossomed 1,300 light-years away in the fertile star fields of the constellation Cepheus. Sometimes called the Iris Nebula and dutifully cataloged as NGC 7023, this is not the only nebula in the sky to evoke the imagery of flowers.
APOD: 2005 December 28- Smooth Sections on Asteroid Itokawa
What are parts of this asteroid's surface so smooth? No one is yet sure, but it may have to do with the dynamics of an asteroid that is a loose pile of rubble rather than a solid rock.
IC 2118: The Witch Head Nebula
Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble -- maybe Macbeth should have consulted the Witch Head Nebula. This suggestively shaped reflection nebula is associated with the bright star Rigel in the constellation Orion.
SN 1006: Supernova Remnant in X Rays
This huge puff ball was once a star. One thousand years ago, in the year 1006, a new star was recorded in the sky that today we know was really an existing star exploding.
The Mysterious Cone Nebula
Sometimes the simplest shapes are the hardest to explain. For example, the origin of the mysterious cone-shaped region seen on the far left remains a mystery. The interstellar formation, dubbed the Cone Nebula, is located about 2700 light years away.
In December of 1968, the Apollo 8 crew flew from the Earth to the Moon and back again. Frank Borman, James Lovell, and William Anders were launched atop a Saturn V rocket on December 21, circled the Moon ten times in their command module, and returned to Earth on December 27.