Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)The Witch Head Nebula
Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble ... Maybe Macbeth should have consulted the Witch Head Nebula. This suggestively shaped reflection nebula is associated with the bright star Rigel in the constellation Orion. More formally known as IC 2118, the Witch Head Nebula glows primarily by light reflected from Rigel.
M1: Filaments of the Crab Nebula
The Crab Nebula, filled with mysterious filaments, is the result of a star that exploded in 1054 AD. This spectacular supernova explosion was recorded by Chinese and (quite probably) Anasazi Indian astronomers. The filaments...
COBE Hotspots: The Oldest Structures Known
Above is a microwave image of the entire sky. The plane of our galaxy runs horizontally through the center. This historic all-sky map is based on the first two years of data from NASA's COsmic Background Explorer (COBE) satellite.
Happy Birthday Jules Verne
Sunday marks the 170th anniversary of the birth of Jules Verne (born in Nantes, France on the 8th of February, 1828). Inspired by a lifelong fascination with machines, Verne wrote visionary works about "Extraordinary...
A Martian River Bed
This canyon on the surface of Mars appears to have been carved by flowing water. Known as Nanedi Vallis, the terraces and channels visible within the canyon strongly suggest that a river of water once ran here.
A Passing Spaceship Views Earth
This is how Earth appeared to the passing spacecraft NEAR. The Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) spacecraft was launched from Florida, USA, planet Earth in 1996. After a quick flyby of asteroid Mathilde in June last year, NEAR passed the Earth two weeks ago on its way to asteroid 433 Eros.
A Magellanic Mural
Two galaxies stand out to casual observers in Earth's Southern Hemisphere: the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) and the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC). These irregular galaxies are two of the closest galaxies to our Milky Way Galaxy.
A Triple Eclipse on Jupiter
Part of Jupiter is missing. Actually, three parts appear to be missing. In reality though, the three dark spots seen in the above photograph are only shadows. The unusual alignment of three of Jupiter's moons between the Jovian giant and the Sun was imaged last November 10th.
NGC 1977: Blue Reflection Nebula in Orion
The Orion Nebula is visible to the unaided eye as a fuzzy patch near the famous belt of three stars in the constellation Orion. The above picture captures a part of the Orion Nebula that primarily reflects light from bright Orion stars.
Hamlet of Oberon
What's in a name? Since 1919, the International Astronomical Union has been charged with the task of establishing "conventional" nomenclature for planets, satellites, and surface features. For the remote Uranian system of moons, namesakes from Shakespearean works have been chosen.