Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)A Meteor Shower Fireball Movie
Go outside tonight and see a celestial light show -- the later the better. Tonight is the peak of the month-long Perseid Meteor Shower. Although visible every year at this time, the Perseids are expected to appear particularly active this year due to the relative absence of glare from the Moon during the peak.
Young Suns of NGC 7129
Young suns still lie within dusty NGC 7129, some 3,000 light-years away toward the royal constellation Cepheus. While these stars are at a relatively tender age, only about a million years old, it is likely that our own Sun formed in a similar stellar nursery some five billion years ago.
The Heart and Soul Nebulas
Is the heart and soul of our Galaxy located in Cassiopeia? Possibly not, but that is where two bright emission nebulas nicknamed Heart and Soul can be found. The Heart Nebula, officially dubbed IC 1805 and visible above on the right, has a shape reminiscent of a classical heart symbol.
The Belt of Venus over Elwood Beach
Although you've surely seen it, you might not have noticed it. During a cloudless twilight, just before sunrise or after sunset, part of the atmosphere above the horizon appears slightly off-color, slightly pink.
Mars to Appear Normal this August
Will Mars appear extremely close and bright later this month? No. Regardless of numerous urban legends circulating, Mars will a relatively normal August. October is the best month to see Mars this year. The red planet is now visible in the morning before sunrise.
Will it be curtains for one of these auroras? A quick inspection indicates that it is curtains for both, as the designation "curtains" well categorizes the type of aurora pattern pictured. Another (informal) type is the corona.
Comet dust rained down on planet Earth last August, streaking through dark skies in the annual Perseid meteor shower. So, while enjoying the anticipated space weather, astronomer Fred Bruenjes recorded a series of many 30 second long exposures spanning about six hours on the night of August 11/12 using a wide angle lens.
HD 188753: Triple Sunset
Although it looks like fiction, this artist's vision of sunset on an alien world is based on fact -- the recent discovery of a hot, jupiter-sized planet orbiting in triple star system HD 188753.
Stars Young and Old
Galactic or open star clusters are relatively young swarms of bright stars born together near the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy. Separated by about a degree on the sky, two nice examples...
The Busy Center of the Lagoon Nebula
Stars are battling gas and dust in the Lagoon Nebula but the photographers are winning. Also known as M8, this photogenic nebula is visible even without binoculars towards the constellation of Sagittarius. The energetic processes of star formation create not only the colors but the chaos.