Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Startling Star V838 Mon
Variable star V838 Monocerotis startled astronomers in January of 2002, undergoing a dramatic outburst like no other variable star known. Followed closely by ground-based instruments and the Hubble Space Telescope over the following months...
New Horizons at Jupiter
Headed for the first close-up exploration of the Pluto-Charon system and the icy denizens of the Kuiper belt, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft is pictured here in an artist's vision of the robot probe outward bound.
Moonrise Through Mauna Keas Shadow
How can the Moon rise through a mountain? It cannot -- what was photographed here is a moonrise through the shadow of a large volcano. The volcano is Mauna Kea, Hawai'i, USA, a frequent spot for spectacular photographs since it is arguably the premier observing location on planet Earth.
NGC 869 and NGC 884: A Double Open Cluster
Most star clusters are singularly impressive. Open clusters NGC 869 and NGC 884, however, are doubly impressive. Also known as "h and chi Persei", this unusual double cluster, shown above, is bright enough to be seen from a dark location without even binoculars.
A Lenticular Cloud Over Hawaii
Can a cloud do that? Actually, pictured above are several clouds all stacked up into one striking lenticular cloud. Normally, air moves much more horizontally than it does vertically. Sometimes, however, such as when wind comes off of a mountain or a hill, relatively strong vertical oscillations take place as the air stabilizes.
A Venus Landing
This image is part of the first color panoramic view from Venus. A TV camera on the Soviet Venera 13 lander that parachuted to the surface on 1982 March 1 transmitted it. Venus' clouds...
Phobos Over Mars
Hurtling through space a mere 3,000 miles above the Martian surface, the diminutive moon Phobos (below and left of center) was imaged against the backdrop of a large shield volcano by the Viking 2 Orbiter in 1977.
The Most Distant X Ray Jet
A false-color x-ray image inset at upper left reveals emission from a cosmic jet of high-energy particles, 100,000 light-years in length, emerging from quasar GB1508+5714. An estimated 12 billion (12,000,000,000) light-years away, this appears to be the most distant energetic jet in the known Universe.
The Long Shadow of the Moon
The long shadow of the Moon fell across the continent of Antarctica on November 23rd, during the second total solar eclipse of 2003. In this view from orbit, based on data from the MODIS instrument on board the Earth observing Aqua satellite, the Moon's shadow stretches for almost 500 kilometers.
The Turbulent Neighborhood of Eta Carina
How do violent stars affect their surroundings? To help find out, astronomers pointed the Hubble Space Telescope to the regions surrounding Eta Carina, a star showing signs that it may explode sometime in the next million years.