Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)NGC 4314: A Nuclear Starburst Ring
Is this old galaxy up to new tricks? The barred spiral galaxy NGC 4314 is billions of years old, but its appearance has changed markedly over just the past few millions of years. During that time, a nuclear ring of bright young stars has been evolving.
A Close Encounter Of The Stellar Kind
The unassuming star centered in this sky view will one day be our next door stellar neighbor. The faint 9th magnitude red dwarf, currently 63 light-years away in the constellation Ophiucus, was recently discovered to be approaching our Solar System.
Spot The Planet
OK, it's a picture of the Sun (duh!), but can you spot the planet? Of course, most of the spots you've spotted are sunspots, as large or larger than planet Earth itself.
X-ray Hot Supernova Remnant in the SMC
The Q-shaped cloud seen in this false-color X-ray image from the orbiting Chandra Observatory is big ... about 40 light-years across. It's hot too, as its X-ray glow is produced by multi-million degree gas.
Craters produced by ancient impacts on the airless Moon have long been a familiar sight. But now observers have seen elusive optical flashes on the lunar surface - likely the fleeting result of impacting meteoroids. Orchestrated by David Dunham, president of the International Occultation
The Cat's Paw Nebula
As soon as we find out whose cat did this . . . Nebulae are as famous for being identified with familiar shapes as perhaps cats are for getting into trouble. No cat, though, could have created the vast Cat's Paw Nebula visible in Scorpius.
M83: The Southern Pinwheel Galaxy from VLT
M83 is one of the closest and brightest spiral galaxies on the sky. Visible with binoculars in the constellation of Hydra, majestic spiral arms have prompted its nickname as the Southern Pinwheel. Although discovered...
Rhea: Saturns Second Largest Moon
Rhea is the second largest moon of Saturn, behind Titan, and the largest without an atmosphere. It is composed mostly of water ice, but has a small rocky core. Rhea's rotation and orbit are locked together (just like Earth's Moon) so that one side always faces Saturn.
Mars Polar Lander Target Ellipse
South is up in this recent composite color picture of Mars Polar Lander's target region near the Martian South Pole taken on November 28. Imaged by the orbiting Mars Global Surveyor's wide angle camera, the area covered is 105 kilometers across with the expected landing ellipse superposed.
This topographical map of the southern hemisphere of Mars was generated using data from the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA). Flying on the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft, MOLA has bounced a laser beam off the Martian surface over 200,000,000 times producing a wealth of detailed elevation measurements.