Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Crosby Ramsey Memorial Observatory Refractor
The Massachusetts-based firm of Alvan Clark and Sons became famous for making telescope optics near the end of the last century. Near the end of this century, major astronomical observatories still boast of telescopes...
Sagittarius Star Cloud
Stars come in all different colors. The color of a star indicates its surface temperature, an important property used to assign each star a spectral type. Most stars in the above Sagittarius Star Cloud are orange or red and relatively faint, as our Sun would appear.
The Wind on Mars
Wind erosion has been discovered on Mars. Pictures of regions surrounding the north polar cap show sand dunes covered in frost. In places, however, this frost has been eroded to uncover the dark sand underneath.
The Earth's orbit is not a perfect, sun-centered circle. At aphelion, the most distant point in Earth's orbit, the Sun is 150 million kilometers away and at perihelion, the closest point, Earth approaches the Sun to within about 147 million kilometers. While aphelion occurs in July, perihelion for planet Earth comes in January.
Venus Once Molten Surface
If you could look at Venus with radar eyes - this is what you might see. This computer reconstruction of the surface of Venus was created from data from the Magellan spacecraft. Magellan orbited Venus and used radar to map our neighboring planet's surface between 1990 and 1994.
Lunokhod: Moon Robot
On November 17, 1970 the Soviet Luna 17 spacecraft landed the first roving remote-controlled robot on the Moon. Known as Lunokhod 1, it weighed just under 2,000 pounds and was designed to operate...
Invader From Earth
These technicians are working on the solar-paneled Mars Polar Lander - yet another robotic spacecraft scheduled to invade the red planet. Mars Polar Lander is part of a series of missions focusing on a search for evidence of past or present life.
Except for the Rings of Saturn, The Ring Nebula (M57) is probably the most famous celestial band. This planetary nebula's simple, graceful appearance is thought to be due to perspective -- our view from planet Earth looking straight into what is actually a barrel-shaped cloud of gas shrugged off by a dying central star.
M6: The Butterfly Cluster
To some, the outline of the open cluster of stars M6 resembles a butterfly. M6, also known as NGC 6405, spans about 20 light-years and lies about 2,000 light years distant.
A New Jupiter Oval Rotates
Even Jupiter can do the twist. Large cloud systems on Jupiter rotate, and the newly formed oval pictured above is no different. This new oval formed earlier this year from the collision of two smaller ovals: an occurrence not unlike two large storms merging into one huge hurricane.