Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)In the Center of Spiral M77
What is happening in the center of nearby spiral galaxy M77? To find out, astronomers used the Hubble Space Telescope to peer deep into the dusty chaos of this active galactic nucleus in 1994.
M77: Spiral with a Strange Glow
Why is M77 surrounded by an ultraviolet glow? M77, also called NGC 1068, appears at first sight to be a relatively normal barred spiral galaxy. But when photographed in the ultraviolet (UV), as shown above in false color, the galaxy sports an ultraviolet halo - shown as violet in the photograph.
The High Energy Crab Nebula
This is the mess that is left when a star explodes. The Crab Nebula is so energetic that it glows in every kind of light known. Shown above are images of the Crab Nebula from visible light to the X-ray band.
Volcano Euboea Fluctus On Io
Jupiter's moon Io is turning out to be our Solar System's geologic powerhouse. The churning moon was photographed again just recently on June 27th and again shows signs of violent activity. Shown above are photographs of the volcano Euboea Fluctus taken at different times.
Two Billion Years After the Big Bang
What did the universe look like two billion years after the Big Bang? According to this computer model, the universe was filled with irregular looking objects like the ones shown above. The simulation then predicts that these blobs of stars and gas collide to form galaxies more similar to the ones we see today.
The Largest Impact Crater
What is the largest known impact crater in the Solar System? Over 1300 miles across, the South Pole-Aitken Basin on the farside of Earth's Moon holds that distinction. Circled above in a false color mosaic of Clementine images it was caused when an asteroid or comet sized object crashed
Watch Galaxies Form
Snips and snails and puppy dog tails, is that what galaxies were made of? In a report released yesterday and soon to be published in Nature, astronomers have imaged an interesting distant patch of sky with the orbiting Hubble Space Telescope.
IRTF: Scanning the Infrared Skies
Above, NASA's Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF) poses in front of a starry background. Located on top of Hawaii's towering volcano Mauna Kea, the IRTF is the premier telescope for observing in near infrared light. This 3-meter telescope was established in 1979 and spends about half its time observing Solar System objects.
The Pleiades Star Cluster
It is the most famous star cluster on the sky. The Pleiades can be seen without binoculars from even the depths of a light-polluted city. Also known as the Seven Sisters and M45, the Pleiades is one of the brightest and most easily visible open clusters on the sky.
Sirius: The Brightest Star in the Night
Sirius is the brightest star in the night sky. Intrinsically, Sirius is over 20 times brighter than our Sun and over twice as massive. As Sirius is 8.7 light years distant, it is not the closest star system -- the Alpha Centauri system holds this distinction.