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Leaving Earth

Copyright: What it would look like to leave planet Earth? Such an event was recorded visually in great detail by the MESSENGER spacecraft as it swung back past the Earth in 2005 on its way in toward the planet Mercury. Earth can be seen rotating in this time-lapse video, as it recedes into the distance. […]

The Lagoon Nebula without Stars

The Lagoon Nebula without Stars

Copyright: Sameer Dhar Ridges of glowing interstellar gas and dark dust clouds inhabit the turbulent, cosmic depths of the Lagoon Nebula. Also known as M8, the bright star forming region is about 5,000 light-years distant. But it still makes for a popular stop on telescopic tours of the constellation Sagittarius, toward the center of our […]

Meteor before Galaxy

Meteor before Galaxy

Copyright: Fritz Helmut Hemmerich What’s that green streak in front of the Andromeda galaxy? A meteor. While photographing the Andromeda galaxy in 2016, near the peak of the Perseid Meteor Shower, a small pebble from deep space crossed right in front of our Milky Way Galaxy’s far-distant companion. The small meteor took only a fraction […]

Stereo Phobos

Stereo Phobos

Copyright: Get out your red/blue glasses and float next to Phobos, grooved moon of Mars! Captured in 2004 by the High Resolution Stereo Camera on board ESA’s Mars Express spacecraft, the image data was recorded at a distance of about 200 kilometers from the martian moon. This tantalizing stereo anaglyph view shows the Mars-facing side […]

A Beautiful Trifid

A Beautiful Trifid

Copyright: Vikas Chander The beautiful Trifid Nebula is a cosmic study in contrasts. Also known as M20, it lies about 5,000 light-years away toward the nebula rich constellation Sagittarius. A star forming region in the plane of our galaxy, the Trifid does illustrate three different types of astronomical nebulae; red emission nebulae dominated by light […]

M13: The Great Globular Cluster in Hercules

M13: The Great Globular Cluster in Hercules

Copyright: Joan Josep Isach Cogollos In 1716, English astronomer Edmond Halley noted, “This is but a little Patch, but it shows itself to the naked Eye, when the Sky is serene and the Moon absent.” Of course, M13 is now less modestly recognized as the Great Globular Cluster in Hercules, one of the brightest globular […]

Halo of the Cat’s Eye

Halo of the Cat’s Eye

Copyright: Bray Falls What created the unusual halo around the Cat’s Eye nebula? No one is sure. What is sure is that the Cat’s Eye Nebula (NGC 6543) is one of the best known planetary nebulae on the sky. Although haunting symmetries are seen in the bright central region, this image was taken to feature […]

A Moon Dressed Like Saturn

A Moon Dressed Like Saturn

Copyright: Francisco Sojuel Why does Saturn appear so big? It doesn’t — what is pictured are foreground clouds on Earth crossing in front of the Moon. The Moon shows a slight crescent phase with most of its surface visible by reflected Earthlight known as ashen glow. The Sun directly illuminates the brightly lit lunar crescent […]

Mountains of Dust in the Carina Nebula

Mountains of Dust in the Carina Nebula

Copyright: It’s stars versus dust in the Carina Nebula and the stars are winning. More precisely, the energetic light and winds from massive newly formed stars are evaporating and dispersing the dusty stellar nurseries in which they formed. Located in the Carina Nebula and known informally as Mystic Mountain, these pillar’s appearance is dominated by […]

Starburst Galaxy M94 from Hubble

Starburst Galaxy M94 from Hubble

Copyright: Why does this galaxy have a ring of bright blue stars? Beautiful island universe Messier 94 lies a mere 15 million light-years distant in the northern constellation of the Hunting Dogs (Canes Venatici). A popular target for Earth-based astronomers, the face-on spiral galaxy is about 30,000 light-years across, with spiral arms sweeping through the […]

The Eagle Rises

The Eagle Rises

Copyright: ALSJ Get out your red/blue glasses and check out this stereo view from lunar orbit. The 3D anaglyph was created from two photographs (AS11-44-6633, AS11-44-6634) taken by astronaut Michael Collins during the 1969 Apollo 11 mission. It features the lunar module ascent stage, dubbed The Eagle, rising to meet the command module in lunar […]

SOFIA’s Southern Lights

SOFIA’s Southern Lights

Copyright: Ian Griffin SOFIA, the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, is a Boeing 747SP aircraft modified to carry a large reflecting telescope into the stratosphere. The ability of the airborne facility to climb above about 99 percent of Earth’s infrared-blocking atmosphere has allowed researchers to observe from almost anywhere over the planet. On a science […]

North Celestial Tree

North Celestial Tree

Copyright: Jeff Dai An ancient tree seems to reach out and touch Earth’s North Celestial Pole in this well-planned night skyscape. Consecutive exposures for the timelapse composition were recorded with a camera fixed to a tripod in the Yiwu Desert Poplar Forests in northwest Xinjiang, China. The graceful star trail arcs reflect Earth’s daily rotation […]

Crepuscular Moon Rays over Denmark

Crepuscular Moon Rays over Denmark

Copyright: Ruslan Merzlyakovastrorms This moon made quite an entrance. Typically, a moonrise is quiet and serene. Taking a few minutes to fully peek above the horizon, Earth’s largest orbital companion can remain relatively obscure until it rises high in the nighttime sky. About a week ago, however, and despite being only half lit by the […]

Comet NEOWISE Rising over the Adriatic Sea

Copyright: Paolo Girotti This sight was worth getting out of bed early. Two years ago this month, Comet C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) rose before dawn to the delight of northern sky enthusiasts awake that early. Up before sunrise on July 8th, the featured photographer was able to capture in dramatic fashion one of the few comets […]