Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Utopia on Mars
The Viking 2 spacecraft was launched on the Road to Utopia in September of 1975 (30 years after Bing, Dotty, and Bob). In August of 1976, after making the second successful Martian landing, Viking...
The Eagle Soars
On July 21, 1969 Apollo 11 astronauts Neil A. Armstrong and Edwin E. "Buzz" Aldrin Jr. lifted off the lunar surface in the ascent stage of their lunar module dubbed "The Eagle" -- after becoming the first to walk on the moon.
20 Years Ago: Vikings on Mars
On July 20, 1976, NASA's Viking 1 lander become the first spacecraft to land on Mars, followed weeks later by its twin robot explorer, the Viking 2 lander. Operating on the Martian surface...
Galileo's First Color Image of Io
Above is the first color image of Jupiter's volcanic moon Io released by the Galileo Project. (Io sounds like "eye-oh".) The image was made on June 25 when the Galileo spacecraft approached within 1.4 million miles.
Nebulosity in Sagittarius
What causes the colors in this beautiful nebulosity in Sagittarius? Dubbed NGC 6589 and NGC 6590, the colors of this nebulosity, are caused by gas and dust. The blue color of the nebula nearest the bright stars is caused by reflection off interstellar dust.
Looking Down on Saturn
This picture of Saturn could not have been taken from Earth. No Earth based picture could possibly view the night side of Saturn and the corresponding shadow cast across Saturn's rings. Since Earth is much closer to the Sun than Saturn, only the day side of the planet is visible from the Earth.
A Portrait of Saturn from Titan
The above artistic portrait of Saturn depicts how it might look from Titan, Saturn's largest moon. In the foreground sits ESA's Huygens probe, which will be released by NASA's Cassini spacecraft. The Cassini mission to Saturn in currently planned for launch in late 1997.
Keck: The Largest Optical Telescope
In buildings eight stories tall rest mirrors ten meters across that are slowly allowing humanity to map the universe. Alone, each is the world's largest optical telescope: Keck. Together, the twin Keck telescopes have the resolving power of a single telescope 90-meter in diameter, able to discern sources just milliarcseconds apart.
M81 in True Color
Here's what a spiral galaxy REALLY looks like. Yesterday, M81 was shown in two colors only, but here we see M81 at its most colorful. In the above picture, note how blue the spiral arms are - this indicates the presence of hot young stars and on-going star formation.
M81: A Bulging Spiral Galaxy
Few stars are still forming in the old giant spiral galaxy M81. The blue regions in this picture - representing ultraviolet light - highlight regions of bright young stars and star formation and appear rare than in M74 and M33. The red regions - representing the visible light - show a large population of older, less massive stars.