Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)The Giants of Omega Centauri
Globular star cluster Omega Centauri is some 15,000 light-years away and 150 light-years in diameter. Packed with about 10 million stars, Omega Cen is the largest of 200 or so known globular clusters that roam the halo of our Milky Way galaxy.
Linking spiral arms, two large colliding galaxies are featured in this Hubble Space Telescope view, part of a series of cosmic snapshots released to celebrate the Hubble's 18th anniversary. Recorded in astronomer Halton Arp's Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies as Arp 272, the pair is otherwise known as NGC 6050 and IC 1179.
Airplane Flight Patterns over the USA
What are these Earthlings going? Millions of people move about planet Earth by airplane every day. Hundreds of thousands of airplane flights take place over the US every day. A dramatic graphical depiction of these flights was created by Aaron Koblin and is shown above.
Star Forming Region NGC 3582
What's happening in the NGC 3582 nebula? Bright stars and interesting molecules are forming. The complex nebula resides in the star forming region called RCW 57. Visible in this image are dense knots...
The Galactic Center Radio Arc
What causes this unusual structure near the center of our Galaxy? The long parallel rays slanting across the top of the above radio image are known collectively as the Galactic Center Radio Arc and jut straight out from the Galactic plane.
The Tarantula Zone
The Tarantula Nebula is more than 1,000 light-years in diameter -- a giant star forming region within our neighboring galaxy the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). That cosmic arachnid lies at the upper left of this expansive mosiac covering a part of the LMC over 6,000 light-years across.
M86 in the Virgo Cluster
Bright lenticular galaxy M86 is near center of this cosmic view, at the heart of the Virgo Galaxy Cluster. Other bright galaxies in the neighborhood include M84 at the upper right, edge-on spiral NGC4388...
Cygnus Without Stars
The sky is full of hydrogen, though it can take a sensitive camera and telescope to see it. For example, this twelve-degree-wide view of the northern part of the constellation Cygnus reveals cosmic clouds of hydrogen gas along the plane of our Milky Way galaxy.
Above the Clouds
From the windswept peak of Mauna Kea, on the Big Island of Hawaii, your view of the world at night could look like this. At an altitude of about 13,500 feet, the mountain top is silhouetted in the stunning skyscape recorded near dusk in early December of 2005.
The Fox Fur Nebula from CFHT
This interstellar beast is formed of cosmic dust and gas interacting with the energetic light and winds from hot young stars. The shape, visual texture, and color, combine to give the region the popular name Fox Fur Nebula.