Astronomy Picture of the Day

Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)

Арки вокруг скопления галактик Ring Around the Cluster

It is difficult to hide a galaxy behind a cluster of galaxies. The closer cluster's gravity will act like a huge lens, pulling images of the distant galaxy around the sides and greatly distorting them. This is just the case observed in the above recently released image from the VLT.

Туманность Конская голова в созвездии Ориона Orion's Horsehead Nebula

The Horsehead Nebula is one of the most famous nebulae on the sky. It is visible as the black indentation to the red emission nebula seen just to the right of center of the above photograph. The bright star near the center is located in the belt of the familiar constellation of Orion.

Меркурий - ад, покрытый кратерами Mercury: A Cratered Inferno

Mercury's surface looks similar to our Moon's. Each is heavily cratered and made of rock. Mercury's diameter is about 4800 km, while the Moon's is slightly less at about 3500 km (compared with about 12,700 km for the Earth). But Mercury is unique in many ways.

ESO202-G23: сливающиеся галактики ESO202-G23: Merging Galaxies


Год далеких сверхновых The Year of Distant Supernovae

Distant supernovae were among topics at the forefront of astronomy during 1998. Two independent groups raced to deploy large telescopes to scan the sky, discovering and analyzing far-off supernovae with the promise of calibrating the geometry of our universe.

Сверхновая 1994D и неожиданная Вселенная Supernova 1994D and the Unexpected Universe

Far away, long ago, a star exploded. Supernova 1994D, visible as the bright spot on the lower left, occurred in the outskirts of disk galaxy NGC 4526. Supernova 1994D was not of interest for how different it was, but rather for how similar it was to other supernovae.

Поток Джеминид из созвездия Близнецов A Geminid from Gemini

The Leonid meteor shower was not the only good meteor shower this season. Earlier this month, the annual Geminids meteor shower peaked, featuring as many as 140 meteors per hour from some locations. Geminid meteors can be seen streaking away from the constellation of Gemini, as depicted in the above all-sky photograph.

Вблизи астероида Эрос NEAR to Asteroid Eros

On December 23, the NEAR spacecraft flew by asteroid 433 Eros. NEAR was originally scheduled to brake and orbit Eros, but an unexpected shutdown of its main engine caused this plan to be aborted. NEAR will now be reset and attempt to return to orbit Eros in early 2000.

M2-9: крылья туманности Бабочка M2 9: Wings of a Butterfly Nebula

Are stars better appreciated for their art after they die? Actually, stars usually create their most artistic displays as they die. In the case of low-mass stars like our Sun and M2-9 pictured above, the stars transform themselves from normal stars to white dwarfs by casting off their outer gaseous envelopes.

Гамма-квазар Gamma Ray Quasar

The bright object in the center of the false color image above is quasar 3C279 viewed in gamma-rays, photons with more than 40 million times the energy of visible light. Like all quasars, 3C279 is a nondescript, faint, star-like object in the visible sky.

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