Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Signals of a Strange Universe
Eleven years ago results were first presented indicating that most of the energy in our universe is not in stars or galaxies but is tied to space itself. In the language of cosmologists, a large cosmological constant is directly implied by new distant supernovae observations.
Almahata Sitta 15
Small asteroid 2008 TC3 fell to Earth at dawn on October 7, 2008, tracking through the skies over the Nubian Desert in northern Sudan. That event was remarkable because it was the first time an asteroid was detected in space before crashing into planet Earth's atmosphere.
The Seagull Nebula
Images from two different cameras, a digital SLR and an astronomical ccd camera, are combined in this color starscape. Both cameras made use of the same telescope at the oceanside Winter Star Party in the Florida Keys, appropriately creating this portrait of the Seagull Nebula.
Stars Young and Old
Galactic or open star clusters are relatively young. These swarms of stars are born near the plane of the Milky Way, but their numbers steadily dwindle as cluster members are strewn through the Galaxy by gravitational interactions.
Orcus of the Outer Solar System
A newly discovered object in the outer Solar System moves like an anti-Pluto. 90482 Orcus was first discovered in 2004 and is slightly smaller than Pluto, although still one of the largest Kuiper belt objects known. Orcus may one day have the same IAU designation as Pluto: a dwarf planet.
Martian Dunes and the Shadow of Opportunity
Human made robots continue to roll across the surface of Mars. Both Opportunity and its sister rover Spirit are in their sixth year on Mars, exploring the red planet for years longer than original expectations.
The Seahorse of the Large Magellanic Cloud
To some it may look to some like a big space monster, but it is more big than monster. To others it may look like a grazing seahorse, but the dark object toward the image right is actually an inanimate pillar of smoky dust about 20 light years long.
The Sun destroyed this comet. Arcing toward a fiery fate, this Sungrazer comet was recorded by the SOHO spacecraft's Large Angle Spectrometric COronagraph(LASCO) on 1996 Dec. 23. LASCO uses an occulting disk...
Fermi s Gamma Ray Sky
Scanning the entire sky in gamma-rays, photons with over 50 million times the energy of visible light, the Fermi mission's Large Area Telescope (LAT) explores the high-energy universe. This all-sky map constructed from...
Sunset at the Portara
Today, the Sun crosses the celestial equator heading north at 11:44 UT. Known as an equinox, this astronomical event marks the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere and autumn in the south. It also marks the beginning of Norouz, the Persian (Iranian) new year. Equinox means equal night.