Astronomy Picture of the Day

photo Stars, Dust, and Gas near NGC 3572

Stars, Dust, and Gas near NGC 3572

Star formation can be colorful. This chromatic cosmic portrait features glowing gas and dark dust near some recently formed stars of NGC 3572, a little-studied star cluster near the Carina Nebula. Stars from NGC 3572 are visible near the bottom ...

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photo A Volcano of Fire under a Milky Way of Stars

A Volcano of Fire under a Milky Way of Stars

Sometimes it's hard to decide which is more impressive -- the land or the sky. On the land of the featured image, for example, the Volcano of Fire (Volcán de Fuego) is seen erupting topped by red-hot, wind-blown ash and with streams of glowing ...

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photo Planet of the Tajinastes

Planet of the Tajinastes

What bizarre planet are these alien creatures from? It's only planet Earth, of course. The planet's home galaxy the Milky Way stretches across a dark sky in the panoramic, fisheye all-sky projection composed with a wide lens. But the imposing ...

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photo Boulders on Bennu

Boulders on Bennu

An abundance of boulders litters the surface asteroid 101955 Bennu in this dramatic close-up from the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft. Taken on March 28 from a distance of just 3.4 kilometers (2.1 miles) the field of view is about 50 meters across while ...

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photo Moons Near Jupiter

Moons Near Jupiter

On May 20, a nearly Full Moon and Jupiter shared this telephoto field of view. Captured when a passing cloud bank dimmed the moonlight, the single exposure reveals the familiar face of our fair planet's own large natural satellite, along with ...

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photo Primordial Contact Binary 2014 MU69

Primordial Contact Binary 2014 MU69

Primordial contact binary 2014 MU69, also known as Ultima Thule, really is very red. In fact, it's the reddest outer solar system object ever visited by a spacecraft from Earth. Its reddish hue is believed to be due to organic materials on its ...

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photo Deep Field: Nebulae of Sagittarius

Deep Field: Nebulae of Sagittarius

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 ...

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photo Planets of the Solar System: Tilts and Spins

Planets of the Solar System: Tilts and Spins

How does your favorite planet spin? Does it spin rapidly around a nearly vertical axis, or horizontally, or backwards? The featured video animates NASA images of all eight planets in our Solar System to show them spinning side-by-side for an ...

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photo A Circumhorizontal Arc Over Ohio

A Circumhorizontal Arc Over Ohio

Why would clouds appear to be different colors? The reason here is that ice crystals in distant cirrus clouds are acting like little floating prisms. Sometimes known as a fire rainbow for its flame-like appearance, a circumhorizon arc lies ...

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photo Atlas, Daphnis, and Pan

Atlas, Daphnis, and Pan

Atlas, Daphnis, and Pan are small, inner, ring moons of Saturn. They are shown at the same scale in this montage of images by the Cassini spacecraft that made its grand final orbit of the ringed planet in September 2017. In fact, Daphnis was ...

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