Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)A Wind From The Sun
A wind from the Sun blows through our Solar System. The behaviour of comet tails as they flapped and waved in this interplanetary breeze gave astronomers the first hint of its existence. Streaming outward...
Betelgeuse, Betelgeuse, Betelgeuse
Betelgeuse (sounds a lot like "beetle juice"), a red supergiant star about 600 light years distant, is seen in this Hubble Space Telescope image -- the first direct picture of the surface of a star other than the Sun. A bright, as yet unexplained hotspot is revealed on its surface!
Shapley 1: An Annular Planetary Nebula
What happens when a star runs out of nuclear fuel? The center condenses into a white dwarf while the outer atmospheric layers are expelled into space and appear as a planetary nebula. This particular planetary nebula, designated Shapley 1 after the famous astronomer Harlow Shapley, has a very apparent annular ring like structure.
NGC 1818: A Young Globular Cluster
Globular clusters once ruled the Milky Way. Back in the old days, back when our Galaxy first formed, perhaps thousands of globular clusters roamed our Galaxy. Today, there are perhaps 200 left. Many globular clusters were destroyed over the eons by repeated fateful encounters with each other or the Galactic center.
More Jets from Comet Hale-Bopp
Comets become fountains of gas and dust as they get near the Sun. Solar heat vaporizes the outer layers of these spectacular orbiting icebergs, exposing caverns of pressurized gas that erupt into jets. The above digitally enhanced image of Comet Hale-Bopp was taken on January 29th and highlights several of these dust jets.
Comet Hale-Bopp Develops a Tail
Comet Hale-Bopp has quite a tail to tell already. This remarkable comet was first discovered in 1995, even before Comet Hyakutake. Since then, this erupting snowball continues to fall into our inner Solar System and is starting to put on quite a show.
Astronaut Carl Walz waves at his colleagues from the aft end of the Space Shuttle Discovery's payload bay - during a 1993 spacewalk to evaluate tools, tethers, and a foot restraint slated for use in the first Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission.
The Gamma Ray Moon
What if you could see gamma rays (photons with more than 40 million times the energy of visible light)? If you could, the Moon would appear brighter than the Sun! This startling notion...
The Deep Field
Galaxies like colorful pieces of candy fill the Hubble Deep Field - humanity's most distant yet optical view of the Universe. The dimmest, some as faint as 30th magnitude (about four billion times fainter...
M104: The Sombrero Galaxy
The famous Sombrero galaxy (M104) is a bright nearby spiral galaxy. The prominent dust lane and halo of stars and globular clusters give this galaxy its name. Something very energetic is going on in the Sombrero's center, as much X-ray light has been detected from it.