Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Earth Nears Asteroid Toutatis
On November 29, 1996 the Earth came within 3.3 million miles of the asteroid Toutatis. Above is a computer simulated picture of this spectacle from the surface of Toutatis (a 2.5 degree field of view looking toward Earth). In Earth's sky, Toutatis appeared only as a faint object moving against a background of stars.
From Eagle's EGGs A Star Is Born
Perhaps the most famous astronomical image in recent years reveals newborn stars upon pillars of gas and dust - uncovered as researchers used the Hubble Space Telescope to explore the Eagle Nebula in 1995. This...
M16: Nebula With Star Cluster
The photogenic M16 shown above is composed of a young star cluster associated with a spectacular emission nebulae lined with clouds of interstellar dust. The gorgeous spectacle lies toward the galactic center region, some 7,000 light years distant in the constellation Serpens.
Europa: The Latest From Galileo
Today, NASA revealed recent results from the Galileo Probe's December 19th flyby of Europa, Jupiter's ice-covered moon - including this close-up image of fractured and frozen terrrain. The highest resolution picture ever made...
Trapezium: Teardrops in My Skies
Sometimes the unexpected comes in a familiar shape. In this recently released picture, the seemingly familiar teardrop-shaped object just right of center is actually an unusually situated disk of gas and dust. In fact, the teardrop is about the size of our own Solar System and is racing against time to condense and form planets.
Black Hole Signature From Advective Disks
What does a black hole look like? If alone, a black hole would indeed appear quite black, but many black hole candidates are part of binary star systems. So how does a black hole binary system look different from a neutron star binary system? The above drawings indicate it is difficult to tell!
Black Holes and Galactic Centers
Do all galaxies have black holes at their centers? Although not even a single galaxy has yet been proven to have a central black hole, the list of candidates has increased yet again. Recent...
Sunspots: Magnetic Depressions
Our Sun has spots! These spots appear dark in photographs like the one above, but in fact sunspots are quite bright - they are just dark compared to the rest of the Sun. Sunspots are about the size of the Earth and frequently occur in groups, as shown above.
Mercury in Stereo: Craters Within Craters
This Stereo image pair of craters on on Mercury was produced using data from NASA's robot explorer Mariner 10 which performed three close flybys of the Sun's closest companion, two in 1974 and one in 1975. However, the spacecraft was not equipped with a Stereo camera!
British astronomer Sir William Herschel discovered Titania and Oberon in 1787, 210 years ago today. He wasn't reading Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream though, he was making the first telescopic observations of moons of the planet Uranus (a planet which he himself discovered in 1781).