Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Active Galaxy Centaurus A
A mere 11 million light-years away, Centaurus A is a giant elliptical galaxy - the closest active galaxy to Earth. This remarkable composite view of the galaxy combines image data from the x-ray ( Chandra), optical(ESO), and radio(VLA) regimes.
Hidden Galaxy IC 342 from Kitt Peak
Beautiful nearby spiral galaxy IC 342 could be more famous if it wasn't so hidden. A sprawling island universe, IC 342 would be a prominent galaxy in our night sky, but it is almost hidden from view behind the veil of stars, gas and dust clouds in the plane of our Milky Way galaxy.
A Jupiter Io Montage from New Horizons
As the New Horizons spacecraft sweeps through the Solar System, it is taking breathtaking images of the planets. In February of last year, New Horizons passed Jupiter and the ever-active Jovian moon Io. In this montage, Jupiter was captured in three bands of infrared light making the Great Red Spot look white.
Quadrantid Meteors and Aurora from the Air
Where do meteor showers originate? To help answer this question, astronomers studied in some detail the Quadrantid meteor shower that occurred over this past weekend. In particular, astronomers with specialized cameras flew as part...
Jupiters Rings Revealed
Why does Jupiter have rings? Jupiter's rings were discovered in 1979 by the passing Voyager 1 spacecraft, but their origin was a mystery. Data from the Galileo spacecraft that orbited Jupiter from 1995 to 2003 later confirmed that these rings were created by meteoroid impacts on small nearby moons.
M51: Cosmic Whirlpool
Follow the handle of the Big Dipper away from the dipper's bowl, until you get to the handle's last bright star. Then, just slide your telescope a little south and west and you might find this stunning pair of interacting galaxies, the 51st entry in Charles Messier's famous catalog.
The Milky Way at 5000 Meters
Climb up to 5000 meters (16,500 feet) above sea level, near Cerro Chajnantor in the northern Chilean Andes, and your night sky could encompass this cosmic vista. Recorded from that high and dry locale, the spectacular fish-eye image features the myriad stars and sprawling dust clouds of our Milky Way Galaxy.
Geminids in 2007
Dust from curious near-Earth asteroid 3200 Phaethon seems to fall from the constellation Gemini in this fisheye skyview. The composite image was recorded over four December nights (12-15) just last year from Ludanyhalaszi, Hungary. Of course, the streaks are meteor trails from the annual Geminids meteor shower.
APOD: 2008 January 2- A Galaxy is not a Comet
This gorgeous galaxy and comet portrait was recorded on December 30th, in the skies over Hoogeveen, The Netherlands. The combined series of 60 x 60 second exposures finds the lovely green coma of Comet 8P/Tuttle near its predicted conjunction with the Triangulum Galaxy.
APOD: 2008 January 1- Rays from an Unexpected Aurora
This aurora was a bit of a surprise. For starters, on this day in 2002, no intense auroral activity was expected at all. Possibly more surprising, however, the aurora appeared to show an usual structure of green rays from some locations.