Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)The Massive Stars in Westerlund 1
Star cluster Westerlund 1 is home to some of the largest and most massive stars known. It is headlined by the star Westerlund 1-26, a red supergiant star so big that if placed in the center of our Solar System, it would extend out past the orbit of Jupiter.
Eclipse Across America: Path Prediction Video
Where will you be during the Eclipse across America? On August 21, the shadow of the Moon will cross the continental USA for the first time since 1979. The predicted path -- a certainty given modern astronomical knowledge -- is shown in the featured NASA video.
Views from Cassini at Saturn
What has the Cassini orbiter seen at Saturn? The featured music video shows some of the early highlights. In the first time-lapse sequence (00:07), a vertical line appears that is really Saturn's thin rings seen nearly edge-on. Soon some of Saturn's moon shoot past.
Saturn near Opposition
Saturn reached its 2017 opposition on June 16. Of course, opposition means opposite the Sun in Earth's sky and near opposition Saturn is up all night, at its closest and brightest for the year.
A Full Moon rose as the Sun set on June 9, known to some as a Strawberry Moon. Close to the horizon and taking on the warm color of reflected sunlight filtered through...
Red Sprites over the Channel
Mysterious and incredibly brief, red sprites are seen to occur high above large thunderstorms on planet Earth. While they have been recorded from low Earth orbit or high flying airplanes, these dancing, lightning-like events were captured in video frames from a mountain top perch in northern France.
M89: Elliptical Galaxy with Outer Shells and Plumes
Can you see them? This famous Messier object M89, a seemingly simple elliptical galaxy, is surrounded by faint shells and plumes. The cause of the shells is currently unknown, but possibly tidal tails related to debris left over from absorbing numerous small galaxies in the past billion years.
The Great Nebula in Carina
In one of the brightest parts of Milky Way lies a nebula where some of the oddest things occur. NGC 3372, known as the Great Nebula in Carina, is home to massive stars and changing nebulas.
An Unusual Hole in Mars
What created this unusual hole in Mars? Actually, there are numerous holes pictured in this Swiss cheese-like landscape, with all-but-one of them showing a dusty, dark, Martian terrain beneath evaporating, light, carbon-dioxide ice. The most unusual hole is on the upper right, spans about 100-meters, and seems to punch through to a lower level.
IC 418: The Spirograph Nebula
What is creating the strange texture of IC 418? Dubbed the Spirograph Nebula for its resemblance to drawings from a cyclical drawing tool, planetary nebula IC 418 shows patterns that are not well understood. Perhaps they are related to chaotic winds from the variable central star, which changes brightness unpredictably in just a few hours.