Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Markarian s Chain
Near the heart of the Virgo Galaxy Cluster the string of galaxies known as Markarian's Chain stretches across this deep telescopic field of view. Anchored in the frame at bottom center by prominent lenticular galaxies, M84 (bottom) and M86, you can follow the chain up and to the right.
Utopia on Mars
Expansive Utopia Planitia on Mars is strewn with rocks and boulders in this 1976 image. Constructed from the Viking 2 lander's color and black and white image data, the scene approximates the appearance of the high northern martian plain to the human eye.
M13: The Great Globular Cluster in Hercules
In 1716, English astronomer Edmond Halley noted, "This is but a little Patch, but it shews itself to the naked Eye, when the Sky is serene and the Moon absent." Of course...
The Jellyfish and Mars
Normally faint and elusive, the Jellyfish Nebula is caught in this alluring scene. In the telescopic field of view two bright yellowish stars, Mu and Eta Geminorum, stand just below and above the Jellyfish Nebula at the left. Cool red giants, they lie at the foot of the celestial twin.
Jets from the Necklace Nebula
What celestial body wears the Necklace Nebula? First, analyses indicate that the Necklace is a planetary nebula, a gas cloud emitted by a star toward the end of its life. Also, what appears to be diamonds in the Necklace are actually bright knots of glowing gas.
NGC 4565: Galaxy on Edge
Is our Milky Way Galaxy this thin? Magnificent spiral galaxy NGC 4565 is viewed edge-on from planet Earth. Also known as the Needle Galaxy for its narrow profile, bright NGC 4565 is a stop on many telescopic tours of the northern sky, in the faint but well-groomed constellation Coma Berenices.
NGC 602 and Beyond
The clouds may look like an oyster, and the stars like pearls, but look beyond. Near the outskirts of the Small Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy some 200 thousand light-years distant, lies 5 million year young star cluster NGC 602.
The Southern Cliff in the Lagoon
Undulating bright ridges and dusty clouds cross this close-up of the nearby star forming region M8, also known as the Lagoon Nebula. A sharp, false-color composite of narrow band visible and broad band near-infrared...
M104: The Sombrero Galaxy
A gorgeous spiral galaxy, M104 is famous for its nearly edge-on profile featuring a broad ring of obscuring dust lanes. Seen in silhouette against an extensive central bulge of stars, the swath of cosmic dust lends a broad brimmed hat-like appearance to the galaxy suggesting a more popular moniker, the Sombrero Galaxy.
The Comet, the Whale, and the Hockey Stick
Closest to the Sun on March 1, and closest to planet Earth on April 23, this Comet ATLAS (C/2020 R4) shows a faint greenish coma and short tail in this pretty, telescopic field of view.