Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Mercury Crosses a Quiet Sun
What's that black dot crossing the Sun? The planet Mercury. Mercury usually passes over or under the Sun, as seen from Earth, but last month the Solar System's innermost planet appeared to go just about straight across the middle.
Starburst Galaxy M94 from Hubble
Why does this galaxy have a ring of bright blue stars? Beautiful island universe Messier 94 lies a mere 15 million light-years distant in the northern constellation of the Hunting Dogs (Canes Venatici).
Star Trails for a Red Planet
Does Mars have a north star? In long exposures of Earth's night sky, star trails make concentric arcs around the north celestial pole, the direction of our fair planet's axis of rotation. Bright star Polaris is presently the Earth's North Star, close on the sky to Earth's north celestial pole.
Galileo s Europa Remastered
Looping through the Jovian system in the late 1990s, the Galileo spacecraft recorded stunning views of Europa and uncovered evidence that the moon's icy surface likely hides a deep, global ocean. Galileo...
Moon and Planets at Twilight
This week's ongoing conjunction of Venus and Jupiter may have whetted your appetite for skygazing. Tonight is the main course though. On November 28, a young crescent Moon will join them posing next to the two bright planets above the western horizon at twilight.
Hoags Object: A Nearly Perfect Ring Galaxy
Is this one galaxy or two? This question came to light in 1950 when astronomer Arthur Hoag chanced upon this unusual extragalactic object. On the outside is a ring dominated by bright blue stars, while near the center lies a ball of much redder stars that are likely much older.
Venus and Jupiter on the Horizon
What are those two bright objects on the horizon? Venus and Jupiter. The two brightest planets in the night sky passed very close together -- angularly -- just two days ago. In real space, they were...
NGC 6995: The Bat Nebula
Do you see the bat? It haunts this cosmic close-up of the eastern Veil Nebula. The Veil Nebula itself is a large supernova remnant, the expanding debris cloud from the death explosion of a massive star.
Apollo 12: Self Portrait
Is this image art? 50 years ago, Apollo 12 astronaut-photographer Charles "Pete" Conrad recorded this masterpiece while documenting colleague Alan Bean's lunar soil collection activities on Oceanus Procellarum. The featured image is dramatic and stark.
Apollo 12 and Surveyor 3 Stereo View
Put on your red/blue glasses and gaze across the western Ocean of Storms on the surface of the Moon. The 3D view features Apollo 12 astronaut Pete Conrad visiting the Surveyor 3 spacecraft 50 years ago in November of 1969.