Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Apollo 17: Shorty Crater Panorama
In December of 1972, Apollo 17 astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt spent about 75 hours on the Moon in the Taurus-Littrow valley, while colleague Ronald Evans orbited overhead. This sharp panorama is digitally stitched together from pictures taken by Cernan as he and Schmitt roamed the valley floor.
T Tauri and Hind s Variable Nebula
The orange star centered in this remarkable telescopic skyview is T Tauri, protoytpe of the class of T Tauri variable stars. Nearby it is a dusty yellow cosmic cloud historically known as Hind's Variable Nebula (aka NGC 1555/1554).
Mars Rover Races to Survive
The Martian rover Spirit is now in the race of its life. The rolling robot is trying to reach an outpost to spend the winter, but it keeps getting bogged down in soft sand on Mars.
The Universe Nearby
What does the universe nearby look like? This plot shows over one and a half million of the brightest stars and galaxies in the nearby universe detected by the Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS) in infrared light.
A Jet from the Sun
What powers the solar wind? Our Sun is known to emit a powerful wind of particles with gusts that can even affect astronauts and satellites orbiting Earth. The cause of the solar wind...
The Fairy of Eagle Nebula
The dust sculptures of the Eagle Nebula are evaporating. As powerful starlight whittles away these cool cosmic mountains, the statuesque pillars that remain might be imagined as mythical beasts. Pictured above is one of several striking dust pillars of the Eagle Nebula that might be described as a gigantic alien fairy.
Star Trails at Dawn
Just fix your camera to a tripod and you too can make an image of graceful trails traced by the stars as planet Earth rotates on its axis. Made on September 14 from Montlaux...
Double Cluster in Perseus
Skygazers recently following Comet Holmes have probably also chanced across this lovely starfield, not far from the comet on the sky in the constellation Perseus. Some 7,000 light-years away, this pair of open or galactic star clusters is an easy binocular target and is visible to the unaided eye from dark sky areas.
Mars in View
Very good telescopic views of Mars can be expected in the coming weeks as the Red Planet nears opposition on December 24th. Of course, opposition means opposite the Sun in planet Earth's sky - an arrangement that occurs every 26 months for Mars.
Comet Holmes Over Hungary
Comet Holmes refuses to fade. The unusual comet that surprisingly brightened nearly a million-fold in late October continues to remain visible to the unaided eye from dark locations. Night to night, Comet 17P/Holmes is slowly gliding through the constellation Perseus, remaining visible to northern observers during much of the night right from sunset.