Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Worlds of a Distant Sun: 47 Ursae Majoris b
Within the last few years, observational astronomy has given humanity evidence of the existence of worlds beyond the solar system. Indeed, solar-type stars are now inferred to harbor planets of approximately Jupiter mass - some residing in temperature zones which could conceivably support liquid water and therefore life!
Greetings from the Pioneers
Launched in the early 1970s Pioneer 10 and 11 were appropriately named - becoming the first spacecraft to travel through the asteroid belt, first to fly by Jupiter and Saturn, and the first human artifacts to venture beyond the solar system.
The Voyagers' Message in a Bottle
Launched in the summer of 1977, NASA's Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft are now over 4.5 billion miles from the Sun. Still operational, the Voyagers are being tracked and commanded through the Deep Space Network.
A Distant Galaxy in the Deep Field
Researchers believe that the faint reddish smudge indicated by the arrow in the image above is a candidate for the most distant known galaxy which may have existed only a few hundred million years after the Big Bang.
Voyager's Preview of Galileo at Ganymede
NASA's robot spacecraft Galileo began its long voyage to Jupiter in October of 1989. In December of last year it arrived in the Jovian system, beginning its unprecedented, detailed exploration by dropping a probe into the gas giant's atmosphere. By early this morning it will have accomplished another milestone in its ambitious mission.
Happy Birthday Charles Messier: M1
French astronomer Charles Messier was born on June 26, 1730. Inspired by childhood sightings of comets and a solar eclipse visible from his home town of Badonvillier, he became an astronomer and comet hunter who kept careful records of his observations.
A Star Forming Region in the LMC
Stars sometimes form in colorful ways. Pictured above is a small region in the nearby LMC galaxy where stars are forming. After a star is born, it may do several things to energize its immediate neighborhood.
A View from Venus: Rift Valley
Color information from the Soviet Venera landers and radar data from the Magellan spacecraft were used to construct this striking perspective view of the Venusian landscape. (In this computer generated image, the vertical scale has been exagerated.) In the foreground is the edge of a rift valley created by faulting in the crust of Venus.
Tycho's Supernova Remnant in X-ray
How often do stars explode? By looking at external galaxies, astronomers can guess that these events, known as a supernovae, should occur about once every 30 years in a typical spiral galaxy like our MilkyWay.
North to the Moon's Pole
This image is from the voyage of the intrepid Galileo spacecraft as it passed above the Moon's north pole on its long journey to Jupiter. It was made over 60 years after Admiral Byrd became the first to fly over the Earth's north pole.