Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Bright Planetary Nebula NGC 7027 from Hubble
It is one of the brightest planetary nebulae on the sky -- what should it be named? First discovered in 1878, nebula NGC 7027 can be seen toward the constellation of the Swan (Cygnus) with a standard backyard telescope.
Clouds of Andromeda
What are those red clouds surrounding the Andromeda galaxy? This galaxy, M31, is often imaged by planet Earth-based astronomers. As the nearest large spiral galaxy, it is a familiar sight with dark dust lanes, bright yellowish core, and spiral arms traced by clouds of bright blue stars.
A Tether in Space
One of the greatest unrequited legends of outer space is the tether. Tethers, long strands of material, hold the promise of stabilizing satellites, generating electricity, and allowing easy transportation. Possibly the most ambitious vision of the space tether is the space elevator popularized by Arthur C.
Planets on the Wing
Lately, bright Jupiter and fainter Mars have been easy to spot for early morning skygazers. Before dawn on January 7 the two naked-eye planets will reach a close conjunction near the horizon, only 1/4 degree apart in predawn eastern skies. That apparent separation corresponds to about half the angular diameter of a Full Moon.
Carina over Lake Ballard
A jewel of the southern sky, the Great Carina Nebula, also known as NGC 3372, is one of our galaxy's largest star forming regions. Easily visible to the unaided eye it stands high...
M1: The Incredible Expanding Crab
The Crab Nebula is cataloged as M1, the first on Charles Messier's famous list of things which are not comets. In fact, the Crab is now known to be a supernova remnant, an expanding cloud of debris from the explosion of a massive star.
The Helix Nebula from CFHT
Will our Sun look like this one day? The Helix Nebula is one of brightest and closest examples of a planetary nebula, a gas cloud created at the end of the life of a Sun-like star.
Unexpected X Rays from Perseus Galaxy Cluster
Why does the Perseus galaxy cluster shine so strangely in one specific color of X-rays? No one is sure, but a much-debated hypothesis holds that these X-rays are a clue to the long-sought identity of dark matter.
Sun Halo over Sweden
What's happened to the Sun? Sometimes it looks like the Sun is being viewed through a giant lens. In the featured video, however, there are actually millions of tiny lenses: ice crystals. Water may freeze in the atmosphere into small, flat, six-sided, ice crystals.
To Fly Free in Space
What would it be like to fly free in space? At about 100 meters from the cargo bay of the space shuttle Challenger, Bruce McCandless II was living the dream -- floating farther out than anyone had ever been before. Guided by a Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU), astronaut McCandless, pictured, was floating free in space.