Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Three CubeSats Released
Cubes are orbiting the Earth. Measuring ten-centimeters on a side, CubeSats -- each roughly the size of a large coffee mug -- are designed to be inexpensive both to build and to launch. Pictured above, three CubeSats were released from the International Space Station (ISS) last November by the arm of the Japanese Kibo Laboratory module.
Galaxy NGC 474: Shells and Star Streams
What's happening to galaxy NGC 474? The multiple layers of emission appear strangely complex and unexpected given the relatively featureless appearance of the elliptical galaxy in less deep images. The cause...
Clouds and Crescents
A crescent Venus shines along the western horizon at dusk in this clearing sky. The Earth's sister planet is smiling between the low clouds near the bottom of the frame during its January 2nd conjunction with the slender, young crescent Moon above.
Lovejoy in the New Year
A rival to vanquished Comet ISON in 2013, Comet Lovejoy (C/2013 R1) still sweeps through early morning skies, captured in this starry scene on New Year's day. The frame stretches some 3.5 degrees across a background of faint stars in the constellation Hercules.
Reflections on Planet Earth
Catching sight of your reflection in a store window or shiny hubcap can be entertaining and occasionally even inspire a thoughtful moment. So consider this reflective view from 300 kilometers above planet Earth.
A New Year s Crescent
That's not the young crescent Moon poised above the western horizon at sunset. Instead it's Venus in a crescent phase, captured with a long telephoto lens from Quebec City, Canada, planet Earth on a chilly December 30th evening. The very bright celestial beacon is droping lower into the evening twilight every day.
The Horsehead Nebula
The Horsehead Nebula is one of the most famous nebulae on the sky. It is visible as the dark indentation to the red emission nebula in the center of the above photograph. The horse-head feature is dark because it is really an opaque dust cloud that lies in front of the bright red emission nebula.
Quantum Steampunk Fantasy Fractal Landscape
What strange world is this? Pictured above is no real place but rather a purely mathematical visualization of a generalization of a fractal into three dimensions. Classical fractal diagrams are typically confined to the two dimensions inherent in the complex number plane, demarking regions where an iterative function diverges.
Time Lapse Auroras Over Norway
Sometimes, after your eyes adapt to the dark, a spectacular sky appears. Such was the case in 2011 March when one of the largest auroral displays in recent years appeared over northern locations like the border between Norway and Russia.
Alaska Aurora Sequence
A remarkably intense auroral band flooded the northern night with shimmering colors on December 7. The stunning sequence captured here was made with a camera fixed to a tripod under cold, clear skies near Ester, just outside of Fairbanks, Alaska.