Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Comet Hale-Bopp Over New York City
What's that point of light above the World Trade Center? It's Comet Hale-Bopp! Both faster than a speeding bullet and able to "leap" tall buildings in its single orbit, Comet Hale-Bopp is also bright enough to be seen even over the glowing lights of one of the world's premier cities.
GRB970228: What's There?
Could this fuzzy blob be the key to the whole gamma-ray burst (GRB) mystery? Astronomers the world over are now scrambling to determine the true nature of the extended emission seen to the lower right of the bright source in the above image.
Mercury Astronauts and a Redstone
Space suited project Mercury astronauts John H. Glenn, Virgil I. Grissom, and Alan B. Shepard Jr. (left to right) are pictured here posing in front of a Redstone rocket in this vintage 1961 NASA publicity photo. Project Mercury was the first U.S. program designed to put humans in space.
A Black Hole in M87?
The center of nearby giant galaxy M87 is a dense and violent place. In this 1994 photograph by the Hubble Space Telescope, a disk of hot gas was found to be orbiting at the center of this massive elliptical galaxy. The disk is evident at the lower left of the picture.
Hale-Bopp in Stereo
This stereo pair of Hale-Bopp images combines two pictures from slightly different viewing angles. Simulating stereo vision, the difference was generated by the comet's apparent motion as it cruised through the inner Solar System.
Earth, Clouds, Sky, Comet
Does a comet's dust tail always orbit behind it? Since comets rotate, they shed gas and dust in all directions equally. Small ice and dust particles expelled by the comet, however, are literally pushed around by sunlight. The smaller the particle, the greater the effect.
A Complete Aurora
Aurora frequently make complete rings around a pole of the Earth. This particular "crown", visible in orange near the top of this image, was taken by the orbiting Polar spacecraft about one year ago and released by NASA last month.
Hale-Bopp and Andromeda
Which is closer: the comet or the galaxy? Answer: the comet. In its trek through the inner Solar System, Comet Hale-Bopp has passed nearly in front of the Andromeda Galaxy (M31), seen on the lower left.
NGC 3242: The 'Ghost of Jupiter' Planetary Nebula
It's a weed, it's Jupiter, no it's - actually planetary nebula NGC 3242. After a star like our Sun completes fusion in its core, it throws off its outer layers it a striking display called a planetary nebula.
Dusty Galaxy Centaurus A
One of the most unusual galaxies known, Centaurus A, is pictured above. Cen A is marked by dramatic dust lanes that run across the galaxy's center. These dust lanes are so thick they almost completely obscure the galaxy's center in visible light.