Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Explosions from White Dwarf Star RS Oph
Spectacular explosions keep occurring in the binary star system named RS Ophiuchi. Every 20 years or so, the red giant star dumps enough hydrogen gas onto its companion white dwarf star to set off a brilliant thermonuclear explosion on the white dwarf's surface.
Triple Transit and Mutual Events
These three panels feature the Solar System's ruling gas giant Jupiter on August 15 as seen from Cebu City, Phillipines, planet Earth. On that date the well-timed telescopic views detail some remarkable performances, transits and mutual events, by Jupiter's Galilean moons.
Three Perseid Nights
Frames from a camera that spent three moonless nights under the stars create this composite night skyscape. They were recorded during August 11-13 while planet Earth was sweeping through the dusty trail of comet Swift-Tuttle.
Bright Meteor, Starry Sky
Plowing through Earth's atmosphere at 60 kilometers per second, this bright perseid meteor streaks along a starry Milky Way. Captured in dark Portugal skies on August 12, it moves right to left through the frame.
Rings Around the Ring Nebula
The Ring Nebula (M57), is more complicated than it appears through a small telescope. The easily visible central ring is about one light-year across, but this remarkably deep exposure - a collaborative effort combining data from three different large telescopes - explores the looping filaments of glowing gas extending much farther from the nebula's central star.
M57: The Ring Nebula from Hubble
Except for the rings of Saturn, the Ring Nebula (M57) is probably the most famous celestial circle. Its classic appearance is understood to be due to our own perspective, though. The recent mapping...
Perseid Meteor, Red Sprites, and Nova RS Oph
This was an unusual sky. It wasn't unusual because of the central band the Milky Way Galaxy, visible along the image left. Most dark skies show part of the Milky Way. It wasn't unusual because of the bright meteor visible on the upper right.
Comet dust rained down on planet Earth last week, streaking through dark skies in the annual Perseid meteor shower. The featured picture is a composite of many images taken from the same location over the peak night of the Perseids.
Island Universe, Cosmic Sand
Stars in our own Milky Way Galaxy are scattered through this eye-catching field of view. From the early hours after midnight on August 13, the 30 second exposure of the night sky over Busko-Zdroj, Poland records the colorful and bright trail of a Perseid meteor.
A Perfect Spiral
If not perfect then this spiral galaxy is at least one of the most photogenic. An island universe of about 100 billion stars, 32 million light-years away toward the constellation Pisces, M74 presents a gorgeous face-on view.