Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)COMPTEL Explores The Radioactive Sky
Diffuse gas clouds laced with radioactive aluminum atoms (Al26) line the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy! How do we see them? Relying on the Compton Effect, the COMPTEL instrument onboard NASA's immense orbiting Compton Gamma Ray Observatory can "see" the 1.8 million electron Volt gamma rays emitted by the radioactive decay.
Hale-Bopp, Jupiter, and the Milky Way
Shining brightly, the mighty Jupiter rules this gorgeous Kodacolor photo of the Milky Way near Sagittarius. Astronomer Bill Keel took the picture earlier this month (July 7) while standing near the summit of Hawaii's Mauna Kea contemplating the sky in the direction of the center of the Galaxy (right of picture center).
Utopia on Mars
The Viking 2 spacecraft was launched on the Road to Utopia in September of 1975 (30 years after Bing, Dotty, and Bob). In August of 1976, after making the second successful Martian landing, Viking...
The Eagle Soars
On July 21, 1969 Apollo 11 astronauts Neil A. Armstrong and Edwin E. "Buzz" Aldrin Jr. lifted off the lunar surface in the ascent stage of their lunar module dubbed "The Eagle" -- after becoming the first to walk on the moon.
20 Years Ago: Vikings on Mars
On July 20, 1976, NASA's Viking 1 lander become the first spacecraft to land on Mars, followed weeks later by its twin robot explorer, the Viking 2 lander. Operating on the Martian surface...
Galileo's First Color Image of Io
Above is the first color image of Jupiter's volcanic moon Io released by the Galileo Project. (Io sounds like "eye-oh".) The image was made on June 25 when the Galileo spacecraft approached within 1.4 million miles.
Nebulosity in Sagittarius
What causes the colors in this beautiful nebulosity in Sagittarius? Dubbed NGC 6589 and NGC 6590, the colors of this nebulosity, are caused by gas and dust. The blue color of the nebula nearest the bright stars is caused by reflection off interstellar dust.
Looking Down on Saturn
This picture of Saturn could not have been taken from Earth. No Earth based picture could possibly view the night side of Saturn and the corresponding shadow cast across Saturn's rings. Since Earth is much closer to the Sun than Saturn, only the day side of the planet is visible from the Earth.
A Portrait of Saturn from Titan
The above artistic portrait of Saturn depicts how it might look from Titan, Saturn's largest moon. In the foreground sits ESA's Huygens probe, which will be released by NASA's Cassini spacecraft. The Cassini mission to Saturn in currently planned for launch in late 1997.
Keck: The Largest Optical Telescope
In buildings eight stories tall rest mirrors ten meters across that are slowly allowing humanity to map the universe. Alone, each is the world's largest optical telescope: Keck. Together, the twin Keck telescopes have the resolving power of a single telescope 90-meter in diameter, able to discern sources just milliarcseconds apart.