Astronomy Picture of the Day

photo Launch of the Solar Orbiter

Launch of the Solar Orbiter

How does weather on the Sun affect humanity? To help find out, the European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA have just launched the Solar Orbiter. This Sun-circling robotic spaceship will monitor the Sun's changing light, solar wind, and magnetic ...

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photo Solar Eclipse over the UAE

Solar Eclipse over the UAE

What's happening behind that camel? A partial eclipse of the Sun. About six and a half weeks ago, the Moon passed completely in front of the Sun as seen from a narrow band on the Earth. Despite (surely) many camels being located in this narrow ...

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photo To Fly Free in Space

To Fly Free in Space

What would it be like to fly free in space? At about 100 meters from the cargo bay of the space shuttle Challenger, Bruce McCandless II was living the dream -- floating farther out than anyone had ever been before. Guided by a Manned ...

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photo Cosmic Clouds in the Unicorn

Cosmic Clouds in the Unicorn

Interstellar clouds of hydrogen gas and dust abound in this gorgeous skyscape. The 3 degree wide field of view stretches through the faint but fanciful constellation Monoceros, the Unicorn. A star forming region cataloged as NGC 2264 is centered, ...

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photo NGC 7331 Close Up

NGC 7331 Close Up

Big, beautiful spiral galaxy NGC 7331 is often touted as an analog to our own Milky Way. About 50 million light-years distant in the northern constellation Pegasus, NGC 7331 was recognized early on as a spiral nebula and is actually one of the ...

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photo Southern Moonscape

Southern Moonscape

The Moon's south pole is near the top of this detailed telescopic view. Looking across the rugged southern lunar highlands it was captured from southern California, planet Earth. At the Moon's third quarter phase the lunar terminator, the sunset ...

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photo Lunar Eclipse Perspectives

Lunar Eclipse Perspectives

Do we all see the same Moon? Yes, but we all see it differently. One difference is the apparent location of the Moon against background stars -- an effect known as parallax. We humans use the parallax between our eyes to judge depth. To see ...

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photo A Sunset Night Sky over the Grand Canyon

A Sunset Night Sky over the Grand Canyon

Seeing mountain peaks glow red from inside the Grand Canyon was one of the most incredible sunset experiences of this amateur photographer's life. They appeared even more incredible later, when digitally combined with an exposure of the night sky ...

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photo Solar Granules at Record High Resolution

Solar Granules at Record High Resolution

Why does the Sun's surface keep changing? The help find out, the US National Science Foundation (NSF) has built the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope in Hawaii, USA. The Inouye telescope has a larger mirror that enables the capturing of images of ...

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photo Zeta Oph: Runaway Star

Zeta Oph: Runaway Star

Like a ship plowing through cosmic seas, runaway star Zeta Ophiuchi produces the arcing interstellar bow wave or bow shock seen in this stunning infrared portrait. In the false-color view, bluish Zeta Oph, a star about 20 times more massive than ...

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