Astronomy Picture of the Day

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A progression of beautiful spiral galaxies is illustrated above with three photographs from NASA's Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (UIT). Flying above the Earth's obscuring layer of atmosphere on the Space Shuttle Columbia during the Astro-1 ...

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photo Latest Comet Hyakutake images:

Latest Comet Hyakutake images:

Oberon is the most distant and second largest moon of Uranus. Discovered by William Herschel in 1787, the properties of the world remained relatively unknown until the robot spacecraft Voyager 2 passed it during its flyby of Uranus in January ...

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photo Latest Comet Hyakutake images:

Latest Comet Hyakutake images:

Why is Umbriel so dark? This dark moon reflects only half the light of other Uranus' moons such as Ariel. And what is that bright ring at the top? Unfortunately, nobody yet knows. These questions presented themselves when Voyager 2 passed this ...

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In the 1920s, using photographic plates made with the Mt. Wilson Observatory's 100 inch telescope, Edwin Hubble determined the distance to the Andromeda Nebula - decisively demonstrating the existence of other galaxies far beyond the Milky Way. ...

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photo Latest Comet Hyakutake images:

Latest Comet Hyakutake images:

Here is one of the largest objects that anyone will ever see on the sky. Each of the fuzzy blobs in the above picture is a galaxy, together making up the Perseus Cluster, one of the closest clusters of galaxies. We view the cluster through the ...

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photo Latest Comet Hyakutake images:

Latest Comet Hyakutake images:

The dark dusty Keyhole Nebula gets its name from its unusual shape. Designated NGC 3324, the Keyhole Nebula is a smaller region superposed on the bright Eta Carina Nebula. The Eta Carina Nebula is the largest nebula in angular extent on the sky, ...

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photo Latest Comet Hyakutake images:

Latest Comet Hyakutake images:

Tonight's full moon would normally washout the spectacle of Comet Hyakutake's lovely tail, even for those far from light polluted skies. Except that tonight comet observers are in luck - the dance of the planets calls for a total lunar eclipse! ...

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photo Latest Comet Hyakutake images:

Latest Comet Hyakutake images:

Imagine flying though space and approaching the Mir space station. The crew of the Space Shuttle Atlantis did just this in a mission that ended only two days ago. Mir, now 10 years old, is equipped for scientific experiments in astronomy, ...

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photo Latest Comet Hyakutake images:

Latest Comet Hyakutake images:

In one of the more spectacular pictures yet taken, Comet Hyakutake is shown here on March 26 high in the dark Missouri sky. In the foreground is Elmcrest Observatory complete with a dim red light glowing inside the dome. The stars in the ...

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photo Latest Comet Hyakutake images:

Latest Comet Hyakutake images:

During April Comet Hyakutake heads in toward the Sun after passing the Earth. At this time the comet's orbit places it north of the Earth. Remaining visible in the northern sky as it nears the Sun, it will set progressively earlier in the ...

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