Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)The Meteor of 1860
Frederic Church (1826-1900), American landscape painter of the Hudson River School, painted what he saw in nature. And on July 20th, 1860, he saw a spectacular string of fireball meteors cross the Catskill evening sky, an extremely rare Earth-grazing meteor procession.
The Crown of the Sun
During a total solar eclipse, the Sun's extensive outer atmosphere, or corona, is an inspirational sight. Subtle shades and shimmering features that engage the eye span a brightness range of over 10,000 to 1, making them notoriously difficult to capture in a single photograph.
Lightning Over Athens
Have you ever watched a lightning storm in awe? Join the crowd. Oddly, nobody knows exactly how lightning is produced. What is known is that charges slowly separate in some clouds causing rapid electrical discharges (lightning), but how electrical charges get separated in clouds remains a topic of much research.
Dark River Wide Field
A Dark River of dust seems to run from our Galactic Center, then pool into a starfield containing photogenic sky wonders. Scrolling right will reveal many of these objects including (can you find?)...
The Antennae Galaxies in Collision
Two galaxies are squaring off in Corvus and here are the latest pictures. But when two galaxies collide, the stars that compose them usually do not. That's because galaxies are mostly empty space and, however bright, stars only take up only a small amount of that space.
Galaxies in the River
Large galaxies grow by eating small ones. Even our own galaxy practices galactic cannibalism, absorbing small galaxies that get too close and are captured by the Milky Way's gravity. In fact, the practice...
Shaping NGC 6188
Dark shapes with bright edges winging their way through dusty NGC 6188 are tens of light-years long. The emission nebula is found near the edge of an otherwise dark large molecular cloud in the southern constellation Ara, about 4,000 light-years away.
Andes Sunset Eclipse
On July 11, after a long trek eastward across the southern Pacific Ocean, the Moon's shadow reached landfall in South America. In a total solar eclipse close to sunset, silhouetted Moon and Sun hugged the western horizon, seen here above the Andes mountains near the continent's southern tip.
Easter Island Eclipse
Makemake, a god in Easter Island mythology, may have smiled for a moment as clouds parted long enough to reveal this glimpse of July 11's total solar eclipse to skygazers. In the foreground...
Mosaic: Welcome to Planet Earth
Welcome to Planet Earth, the third planet from a star named the Sun. The Earth is shaped like a sphere and composed mostly of rock. Over 70 percent of the Earth's surface is water. The planet has a relatively thin atmosphere composed mostly of nitrogen and oxygen.