Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Perseid Storm
Storms on the distant horizon and comet dust raining through the heavens above are combined in this alluring nightscape. The scene was recorded in the early hours of August 13 from the Keota Star Party site on the Pawnee National Grasslands of northeastern Colorado, USA.
NGC 1365: Majestic Island Universe
Barred spiral galaxy NGC 1365 is truly a majestic island universe some 200,000 light-years across. Located a mere 60 million light-years away toward the chemical constellation Fornax, NGC 1365 is a dominant member of the well-studied Fornax galaxy cluster.
Pelican Nebula Close Up
The prominent ridge of emission featured in this intensely colorful skyscape is designated IC 5067. Part of a larger emission nebula with a distinctive shape, popularly called The Pelican Nebula, the ridge spans about 10 light-years and follows the curve of the cosmic pelican's head and neck.
Crescent Moon and Planets Over Portugal
Sometimes, it's fun to share the sky. Although it might appear that the two sky enthusiasts on the ridge are sharing only a crescent moon between them, three bright planets also stand before them.
NGC 4755: A Jewel Box of Stars
The great variety of star colors in this open cluster underlies its name: The Jewel Box. One of the bright central stars is a red supergiant, in contrast to the many blue stars that surround it. The cluster, also known as Kappa Crucis contains just over 100 stars, and is about 10 million years old.
Meteors Over Quebec
Meteors streaked through the sky above many of Earth's cities last week, but nobody was hurt, and no damage has been reported. The assault from space appeared to originate from someplace in the constellation of Perseus, and included millions of small projectiles hurtling toward Earth at over 200,000 kilometers per hour.
Layered Hills in Arabia Terra on Mars
Why are some hills on Mars so layered? The answer is still under investigation. Clearly, dark windblown sand surrounds outcropping of light sedimentary rock across the floor of crater Arabia Terra. The light rock clearly appears structured into many layers, the lowest of which is likely very old.
Night of the Perseids
On the night of August 12, from moonset until dawn was a good time to see meteors. Enthusiasts watched as comet dust rained on planet Earth, streaking through dark skies during the annual Perseid Meteor Shower.
Arp 286: Trio in Virgo
A remarkable telescopic composition in yellow and blue, this scene features a trio of interacting galaxies almost 90 million light-years away, toward the constellation Virgo. On the left, two, spiky, foreground Milky Way stars echo the trio galaxy hues, a reminder that stars in our own galaxy are like those in the distant island universes.
Each August, as planet Earth swings through dust trailing along the orbit of periodic comet Swift-Tuttle, skygazers can enjoy the Perseids Meteor Shower. The shower should build to its peak now, best seen from later tonight after moonset, until dawn tomorrow morning when Earth moves through the denser part of the wide dust trail.