Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Comet Hale-Bopp is That Bright
What's that fuzzy star? It's not a star, it's Comet Hale-Bopp. Not only has Comet Hale-Bopp become easy to see in the morning sky, it has become hard not to see it. It's that bright. Any morning just before sunrise, look towards the east.
Arcing toward a fiery fate, this Sungrazer comet was recorded by the SOHO spacecraft's Large Angle Spectrometric COronagraph (LASCO) on Dec. 23rd, 1996. LASCO uses an occulting disk, partially visible at the lower...
Star Wars in NGC 664
Long ago in a galaxy far, far away, locked in their final desperate struggle against the force of gravity ... two stars exploded! Stellar explosions - Supernovae - are among the most powerful events in the Universe, estimated to release an equivalent energy of up to 1 million trillion trillion (1 followed by 30 zeros) megatons of TNT.
The Trail of the Intruder
In yesterday's episode our hero, the Cartwheel galaxy, had survived a chance cosmic collision with a small intruder galaxy - triggering an expanding ring of star formation. Hot on the intruder's trail, a team of multiwavelength sleuths have compiled evidence tracking the reckless galaxy fleeing the scene.
Cartwheel of Fortune
By chance, a collision of two galaxies has created a surprisingly recognizable shape on a cosmic scale - "The Cartwheel Galaxy". The Cartwheel is part of a group of galaxies about 500 million light years away in the constellation of Sculptor (two smaller galaxies in the group are visible on the right).
The Gamma Ray Sky
What if you could "see" gamma rays? If you could, the sky would seem to be filled with a shimmering high-energy glow from the most exotic and mysterious objects in the Universe.
New Eyes for the Hubble Space Telescope
The Hubble Space Telescope's second servicing mission has been completed. Every few years, the telescope is visited by a Space Shuttle to allow astronauts to switch old instruments for new. This time...
Comet Hale-Bopp and the Dumbbell Nebula
Comet Hale-Bopp is now slowly moving across the morning sky. During its trip to our inner Solar System, the comet passes in front of several notable objects. Here Comet Hale-Bopp was photographed on February 11th superposed nearly in front of the picturesque Dumbbell Nebula, visible on the upper right.
Mizar Binary Star
Mizar (sounds like "My Czar") is a binary star. In fact, most stars are binary stars. In a binary star system, each star of the pair follows an elliptical orbital path. Mutual gravity causes...
A Big Cliff on Jupiter's Callisto
Callisto's surface is not without fault. In fact, an explorer crossing the surface of this large moon of Jupiter would need climbing equipment to pass this large, recently discovered fault. The above picture was released last week and was taken in November 1996 by the robot spacecraft Galileo currently orbiting Jupiter.