Messier 24: Sagittarius Star Cloud

2024-07-18 Christopher Freeburn

Unlike most entries in Charles Messier's famous catalog of deep sky objects, M24 is not a bright galaxy, star cluster, or nebula. It's a gap in nearby, obscuring interstellar dust clouds that allows a view of the distant stars in the ...

Villarrica Volcano Against the Sky

2024-07-17 Gabriel Muñoz; Text: Natalia Lewandowska (SUNY Oswego)

When Vulcan, the Roman god of fire, swings his blacksmith's hammer, the sky is lit on fire. A recent eruption of Chile's Villarrica volcano shows the delicate interplay between this fire -- actually glowing steam and ash from melted ...

Cometary Globules

2024-07-16 Mark Hanson & Martin Pugh, Observatorio El Sauce

What are these unusual interstellar structures? Bright-rimmed, flowing shapes gather near the center of this rich starfield toward the borders of the nautical southern constellations Pupis and Vela. Composed of interstellar gas and dust, the ...

The Tadpole Galaxy from Hubble

2024-07-15

Why does this galaxy have such a long tail? In this stunning vista, based on image data from the Hubble Legacy Archive, distant galaxies form a dramatic backdrop for disrupted spiral galaxy Arp 188, the Tadpole Galaxy. The cosmic tadpole is a ...

Meteor Misses Galaxy

2024-07-14 Aman Chokshi

The galaxy was never in danger. For one thing, the Triangulum galaxy (M33), pictured, is much bigger than the tiny grain of rock at the head of the meteor. For another, the galaxy is much farther away -- in this instance 3 million light years as ...

Solar System Family Portrait

2024-07-13

In 1990, cruising four billion miles from the Sun, the Voyager 1 spacecraft looked back to make this first ever Solar System family portrait. The complete portrait is a 60 frame mosaic made from a vantage point 32 degrees above the ecliptic ...

Jones-Emberson 1

2024-07-12 Team OURANOS

Planetary nebula Jones-Emberson 1 is the death shroud of a dying Sun-like star. It lies some 1,600 light-years from Earth toward the sharp-eyed constellation Lynx. About 4 light-years across, the expanding remnant of the dying star's ...

Globular Cluster Omega Centauri

2024-07-11 Juergen Stein

Globular star cluster Omega Centauri packs about 10 million stars much older than the Sun into a volume some 150 light-years in diameter. Also known as NGC 5139, at a distance of 15,000 light-years it's the largest and brightest of 200 or so ...

A Sagittarius Triplet

2024-07-10 Andy Ermolli

These three bright nebulae are often featured on telescopic tours of the constellation Sagittarius and the crowded starfields of the central Milky Way. In fact, 18th century cosmic tourist Charles Messier cataloged two of them; M8, the large ...

Noctilucent Clouds over Florida

2024-07-09 Pascal Fouquet

These clouds are doubly unusual. First, they are rare noctilucent clouds, meaning that they are visible at night -- but only just before sunrise or just after sunset. Second, the source of these noctilucent clouds is actually known. In this rare ...