Astronomy Picture of the Day

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Titania's tortured terrain is a mix of valleys and craters. NASA's interplanetary robot spacecraft Voyager 2 passed this moon of Uranus in 1986 and took the above photograph. The photograph was then transmitted back to earth by radio. The valleys ...

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What formed Ariel's valleys? This question presented itself when Voyager 2 passed this satellite of Uranus in January 1986. Speculation includes that heating caused by the ancient tides of Uranus caused moonquakes and massive shifting of the ...

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Orbiting 1,075 miles above the Earth, a 250 foot wide, inflated, reinforced nylon "wheel" was conceived in the early 1950s to function as a navigational aid, meteorological station, military platform, and way station for space exploration by ...

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Sometimes the simplest shapes are the hardest to explain. For example, the origin of the mysterious cone-shaped region located just below the center of the above picture remains a mystery. The dark region clearly contains much dust which blocks ...

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Today, February 29th, is a leap day - a relatively rare occurrence. Advised by Alexandrian astronomer Sosigenes, Roman dictator Julius Caesar, pictured above in a self-decreed minted coin, created a calender system in 46 BC that contained one ...

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Tremendous explosions near the center of our Galaxy were discovered just this past December and are being announced today by a paper in Nature and a press conference at NASA. Bursts like these have never been seen before, and so the exact cause ...

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An X-ray star winks out behind the Moon in these before and after views of a lunar occultation of the galactic X-ray source designated GX5-1. The false color images were made using data from the ROSAT orbiting observatory and show high energy ...

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On rare but spectacular occasions, fireballs, meteors brighter than the brightest stars, flash through the heavens - sometimes making audible sounds and occasionally surviving to strike the Earth's surface. The path of one such fireball, recorded ...

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Looking like a fleet of futuristic starcruisers poised over planet Earth, NASA's highly successful series of High Energy Astrophysical Observatory (HEAO) spacecraft appear above in a vintage illustration. Labeled A, B, and C in this conceptual ...

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Sixteen minutes after the liftoff of STS-29, the Space Shuttle Discovery's jettisoned External Tank (ET) is seen here, in a photograph by shuttle astronaut James P. Bagian, falling back towards Earth. The 154 foot long ET is the largest ...

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