Astronomy Picture of the Day

NGC 4676: When Mice Collide

These two mighty galaxies are pulling each other apart. Known as the "Mice" because they have such long tails, each spiral galaxy has likely already passed through the other. The long tails are created by the relative difference between ...

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The Holographic Principle and a Teapot

Sure, you can see the 2D rectangle of colors, but can you see deeper? Counting color patches in the featured image, you might estimate that the most information that this 2D digital image can hold is about 60 (horizontal) x 50(vertical) x 256 ...

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A Light and Dusty Night

Posing as a brilliant evening star, Venus lies near the western horizon in this southern hemisphere, early spring, night skyscape. To create the composite view exposures tracking the sky and fixed for the foreground were taken on September 25 ...

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The Central Milky Way from Lagoon to Pipe

Dark markings and colorful clouds inhabit this stellar landscape. The deep and expansive view spans more than 30 full moons across crowded star fields toward the center of our Milky Way Galaxy. Cataloged in the early 20th century by astronomer E. ...

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The Hydrogen Clouds of M33

Gorgeous spiral galaxy M33 seems to have more than its fair share of glowing hydrogen gas. A prominent member of the local group of galaxies, M33 is also known as the Triangulum Galaxy and lies a mere 3 million light-years away. Sprawling along ...

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Gigantic Jet Lightning from Puerto Rico

Have you ever seen a gigantic jet? They are extremely rare but tremendously powerful. Gigantic jets are a type of lightning discharge documented only this century that occur between some thunderstorms and the Earth's ionosphere high above them. ...

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Night of the Perseids

Have you ever experienced a meteor shower? To help capture the wonder, a video was taken during the peak of the recent Perseid meteor shower above the Indian Astronomical Observatory in Hanle, India, high up in the Himalayan mountains. Night ...

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Unwrapped: Five Decade Old Lunar Selfie

Here is one of the most famous pictures from the Moon -- but digitally reversed. Apollo 11 landed on the moon in 1969 and soon thereafter many pictures were taken, including an iconic picture of Buzz Aldrin taken by Neil Armstrong. The original ...

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The Red Square Nebula

How did a round star create this square nebula? No one is quite sure. The round star, known as MWC 922 and possibly part of a multiple star system, appears at the center of the Red Square Nebula. The featured image combines infrared exposures ...

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The Bubble and the Star Cluster

To the eye, this cosmic composition nicely balances the Bubble Nebula at the right with open star cluster M52. The pair would be lopsided on other scales, though. Embedded in a complex of interstellar dust and gas and blown by the winds from a ...

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