Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Wild Duck Open Cluster M11
Many stars like our Sun were formed in open clusters. The above open cluster, M11, contains thousands of stars and is just over three thousand light years distant. The stars in this cluster all formed together about 150 million years ago. The bright young stars in M11 appear blue.
The Averted Side Of The Moon
This vintage 60-kopek stamp celebrates a dramatic achievement. On the 7th of October, 1959 (7/X/1959), the Soviet interplanetary station which has come to be called "Luna 3" successfully photographed the far side of the moon giving denizens of planet Earth their first ever view of this hidden hemisphere.
North Pole Below
Orbiting over the north pole of planet Earth on May 5, the MODIS instrument on-board the Terra spacecraft, recorded this view of the ice cap 700 kilometers below. A radial grid centered on the pole is shown on top of the approximately true color image where each pixel covers about one square kilometer.
The Farthest Explosion Yet Measured
It happened so far away that common human distance measures are inadequate to describe it. Furthermore, astronomers do not even claim to know exactly what happened. What is known is that satellites across our Solar System reported on 2000 January 31 a tremendous explosion of gamma rays had occurred towards some previously uninteresting direction.
The Space Shuttle Docking Ring
A space shuttle is again visiting the International Space Station (ISS). The STS-92 crew aboard Discovery have already delivered and installed a truss and a docking port on the growing orbiting space station. The station is being prepared for its first permanent crew, currently scheduled to be launched from Kazakstan on October 30.
Gemini North Images Bow Shock Near Galactic Center
What's going on near the center of our Galaxy? Glowing across the electromagnetic spectrum, the center of our Milky Way Galaxy is thought to be home to massive stars, rotating gas rings, and a massive black hole. Now the central Galactic zoo just got larger.
Dust and Gas Surrounding Star R Coronae Australis
Young star R Coronae Australis has a dusty home. The dust is so thick on the upper left of the above photograph that little light from background stars comes through. Thinner dust near the stars reflects light from R Coronae Australis (upper right) and neighbor TY Coronae Australis, giving their surroundings a flowing appearance.
Globular Cluster Omega Centauri
Does an old, red globular cluster have any hot, blue stars? The rightmost picture, taken by the Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope in ultraviolet light, shows that indeed it does. Pictured, Omega Centauri is the largest known globular cluster of over 200 in our Galaxy, containing well over a million stars.
The Ecliptic Plane
The Plane of the Ecliptic is well illustrated in this picture from the 1994 lunar prospecting Clementine spacecraft. Clementine's star tracker camera image reveals (from right to left) the Moon lit by Earthshine, the Sun's corona rising over the Moon's dark limb, and the planets Saturn, Mars, and Mercury.
Eclipse Moon Trail
Tonight, Friday the 13th, October's big, bright, beautiful full Moon will be in the sky, rising as the sun sets. A time exposure of this evening's full Moon would show a brilliant circular arc or Moon trail tracing its celestial path.