Remove Ads

A Space Station Crosses a Busy Sun

Copyright: Wang LetianEyes at Night Typically, the International Space Station is visible only at night. Slowly drifting across the night sky as it orbits the Earth, the International Space Station (ISS) can be seen as a bright spot several times a year from many locations. The ISS is then visible only just after sunset or […]

Shadows at the Moon’s South Pole

Copyright: Was this image of the Moon’s surface taken with a microscope? No — it’s a multi-temporal illumination map made with a wide-angle camera. To create it, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft collected 1,700 images over a period of 6 lunar days (6 Earth months), repeatedly covering an area centered on the Moon’s south pole […]

Mars-Saturn Conjunction

Copyright: Damian Peach Fainter stars in the zodiacal constellation Capricornus are scattered near the plane of the ecliptic in this field of view. The two brightest ones at center aren’t stars at all though, but the planets Mars and Saturn. Taken on the morning of April 4, the telescopic snapshot captured their tantalizing close conjunction […]

Hale-Bopp: The Great Comet of 1997

Copyright: Stefan Seip Only twenty-five years ago, Comet Hale-Bopp rounded the Sun and offered a dazzling spectacle in planet Earth’s night skies. Digitized from the original astrophoto on 35mm color slide film, this classic image of the Great Comet of 1997 was recorded a few days after its perihelion passage on April 1, 1997. Made […]

Earendel: A Star in the Early Universe

Copyright: Is Earendel the farthest star yet discovered? This scientific possibility started when the Hubble Space Telescope observed a huge cluster of galaxies. The gravitational lens effect of this cluster was seen to magnify and distort a galaxy far in the background. This distorted background galaxy — so far away it has a redshift of 6.2 […]

Seven Sisters versus California

Copyright: Neven Krcmarek On the upper right, dressed in blue, is the Pleiades. Also known as the Seven Sisters and M45, the Pleiades is one of the brightest and most easily visible open clusters on the sky. The Pleiades contains over 3,000 stars, is about 400 light years away, and only 13 light years across. […]

A Vortex Aurora over Iceland

Copyright: Christophe Suarez No, the car was not in danger of being vacuumed into space by the big sky vortex. For one reason, the vortex was really an aurora, and since auroras are created by particles striking the Earth from space, they do not create a vacuum. This rapidly developing auroral display was caused by […]

CMB Dipole: Speeding Through the Universe

Copyright: Our Earth is not at rest. The Earth moves around the Sun. The Sun orbits the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. The Milky Way Galaxy orbits in the Local Group of Galaxies. The Local Group falls toward the Virgo Cluster of Galaxies. But these speeds are less than the speed that all of […]

Nova Scotia Northern Lights

Copyright: Jason Dain This almost otherworldly display of northern lights was captured in clear skies during the early hours of March 31 from 44 degrees north latitude, planet Earth. In a five second exposure the scene looks north from Martinique Beach Provincial Park in Nova Scotia, Canada. Stars of the W-shaped constellation Cassiopeia shine well […]

Leaning Tower, Active Sun

Copyright: Antonio Tartarini The natural filter of a hazy atmosphere offered this recognizable architecture and sunset view on March 27. Dark against the solar disk, large sunspots in solar active regions 2975 and 2976 are wedged between the Duomo of Pisa and its famous Leaning Tower. Only one day later, Sun-staring spacecraft watched active region […]

Exploring the Antennae

Copyright: Dietmar Hager Some 60 million light-years away in the southerly constellation Corvus, two large galaxies are colliding. Stars in the two galaxies, cataloged as NGC 4038 and NGC 4039, very rarely collide in the course of the ponderous cataclysm that lasts for hundreds of millions of years. But the galaxies’ large clouds of molecular […]

Animation: Odd Radio Circles

Copyright: What do you call a cosmic puzzle that no one expected to see? In this case, Odd Radio Circles, aka ORCs. ORC-1 typifies the enigmatic five objects, only visible at radio frequencies, that were serendipitously discovered in 2019 using the new Australian SKA Pathfinder radio array. The final image in the featured video uses […]

Venus and Mars: Passing in the Night

Copyright: Carlos Kiko Fairbairn When two planets pass on the night sky, they can usually be seen near each other for a week or more. In the case of this planetary conjunction, Venus and Mars passed within 4 degrees of each other earlier this month. The featured image was taken a few days prior, when […]

Gems of a Maldivean Night

Copyright: Petr HorálekESOPhoto AmbassadorInst. of Physics in Opava The southernmost part of the Milky Way contains not only the stars of the Southern Cross, but the closest star system to our Sun — Alpha Centauri. The Southern Cross itself is topped by the bright, yellowish star Gamma Crucis. A line from Gamma Crucis through the […]

Titan Seas Reflect Sunlight

Copyright: Why would the surface of Titan light up with a blinding flash? The reason: a sunglint from liquid seas. Saturn’s moon Titan has numerous smooth lakes of methane that, when the angle is right, reflect sunlight as if they were mirrors. Pictured here in false-color, the robotic Cassini spacecraft that orbited Saturn from 2004 […]