Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Aurora Above
On some nights the sky is the most interesting show in town. This picture captures a particularly active and colorful display of aurora that occurred a month ago high above Alaska. Auroras are more commonly seen by observers located near the Earth's poles.
NGC 3132: The Eight Burst Nebula
It's the dim star, not the bright one, near the center of NGC 3132 that created this odd but beautiful planetary nebula. Nicknamed the Eight-Burst Nebula and the Southern Ring Nebula, the glowing gas originated in the outer layers of a star like our Sun.
WR124: Stellar Fireball
Some stars explode in slow motion. Rare, massive Wolf-Rayet stars are so tumultuous and hot they are disintegrating right before our telescopes. Glowing gas globs each over 30 times more massive than the Earth are being expelled by a violent stellar wind.
Leonid Meteor Shower Next Week
Early next week, a spectacular meteor storm is expected: the 1998 Leonids. It is widely thought that that the meteors from the Leonids meteor shower are just small pieces of Comet Temple-Tuttle falling to Earth.
Globular Cluster 47 Tucanae
Stars come in bunches. Of the over 200 globular star clusters that orbit the center of our Milky Way Galaxy, 47 Tucanae is the second brightest globular cluster (behind Omega Centauri). Known to some affectionately as 47 Tuc or NGC 104, it is only visible from the Southern
Cutaway Callisto: Ice, Rock, and Ocean
Cruising past the moons of reigning gas giant Jupiter, Voyager and Galileo have returned tantalizing evidence for a liquid water ocean beneath the surface of Europa. Now researchers are reporting telltale indications that the battered Jovian moon Callisto may also harbor a subsurface
Natural Saturn On The Cassini Cruise
What you could see approaching Saturn aboard an interplanetary cruise ship would closely resemble this subtly shaded view of the gorgeous ringed gas giant. Processed by the Hubble Heritage project, the picture intentionally avoids...
At the Nature of the Universe Debate held last month at the Smithsonian, top cosmologists P. James E. Peebles (Princeton) and Michael S. Turner (Chicago) argued over whether new data is finally resolving the type of universe in which we live.
Sextans A: A Seemingly Square Galaxy
What's bothering local galaxy Sextans A? A small dwarf irregular galaxy spanning 5 thousand light years across, Sextans A is located only 5 million light-years away. Named for its home constellation of Sextans, the "diamond in the rough" structure relates to an ancient unknown event.
PG 1115: A Ghost of Lensing Past
In this tangle of quasars and galaxies lies a clue to the expansion rate of the universe. A diffuse glow evident in the picture on the left reveals a normal elliptical galaxy. Directly behind this galaxy lies a normal quasar.