Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Earth Nears Asteroid Toutatis
On Wednesday, September 29, the Earth came within one million miles of the asteroid Toutatis -- the closest predicted aproach of our fair planet to a sizable asteroid or comet in this century. Coming within...
Crater Wall on Solis Planum
This dramatic perspective view looks south-east along the wall of a large eroded impact crater on Solis Planum, bordering the mountainous Thaumasia region of Mars. Stretching for about 50 kilometers into the scene, the crater wall is around 800 meters high.
HUDF: Dawn of the Galaxies
When did galaxies form? Faint red smudges identified on the deepest optical sky image ever taken may well be members of the first class of galaxies. Detailed inspection of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field...
Aurora Over a Communications Tower
Higher than highest communications tower, higher than highest mountain, higher than highest airplane, lies the realm of the aurora. Auroras rarely reach below 60 kilometers, and can range up to 1000 kilometers. Aurora light results from energetic electrons and protons striking molecules in the Earth's atmosphere.
The Great Nebula in Orion
The Great Nebula in Orion is a colorful place. Visible to the unaided eye, it appears as a small fuzzy patch in the constellation of Orion. Long exposure, digitally sharpened images like this, however, show the Orion Nebula to be a busy neighborhood of young stars, hot gas, and dark dust.
Looking Back on an Eclipsed Earth
Here is what the Earth looks like during a solar eclipse. The shadow of the Moon can be seen darkening part of Earth. This shadow moved across the Earth at nearly 2000 kilometers per hour.
The Iron Sun
The ultraviolet light emitted by eleven times ionized iron at temperatures over 2 million degrees Farenheit was used to record the above picture of the Sun on September 22, 2001, the date of that year's autumnal equinox.
Fornax Cluster in Motion
Reminiscent of popular images of the lovely Pleiades star cluster that lies within our own Milky Way Galaxy, this false-color x-ray view actually explores the center of a much more extended cosmic family -- the Fornax cluster of galaxies some 65 million light-years away.
La Silla s Starry Night
On clear, moonless nights, the stars still come out with a vengance above the high-altitude La Silla astronomical observatory. Taking advantage of a recent visit to this first European Southern Observatory (ESO) site constructed on a mountain top in Chile, ESO software engineer Nico Housen recorded this stunning sky view.
Spirit Rover at Engineering Flats on Mars
Is it art? Here the paintbrush was the Spirit robotic rover, the canvas was the soil on Mars, and the artists were the scientists and engineers of the Mars Exploration Rover Mission. The picture...