APOD

The following section adapted from NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day service

Stardust in Aries

This composition in stardust covers over 8 degrees on the northern sky. The mosaicked field of view is west of the familiar Pleiades star cluster,

A Horizon with Blue and Red

What's happening on the horizon? The horizon itself, past a spinach field in Guatemala, shows not only trees but a large volcano: the Volcen de

Earth and Moon

On rare occasions, the Earth and Moon are photographed together. One of most spectacular times this occurred was 25 years ago this month when the J

North America and the Pelican

Fans of our fair planet might recognize the outlines of these cosmic clouds. On the left, bright emission outlined by dark, obscuring dust lanes se

M33: Triangulum Galaxy

The small, northern constellation Triangulum harbors this magnificent face-on spiral galaxy, M33. Its popular names include the Pinwheel Galaxy or

M42: The Great Orion Nebula

Few astronomical sights excite the imagination like the nearby Orion Nebula. The Nebula's glowing gas surrounds hot stars at the edge of an imm

Juno Spots a Complex Storm on Jupiter

Some storms on Jupiter are quite complex. The swirling storm was captured late last month by the NASA's robotic Juno spacecraft currently orbiting th

Hurricane Season Animated

Where do hurricanes go? To better understand dangerous storms, NASA compiled data from several satellites into a supercomputer simulation of this p

Crossing Horizons

Follow this vertical panoramic view from horizon to horizon and your gaze will sweep through the zenith of a dark night sky over Pic du Midi mountain

Apollo 17 at Shorty Crater

In December of 1972, Apollo 17 astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt spent about 75 hours on the Moon in the Taurus-Littrow valley, while col

Big Dipper over Pyramid Mountain

When did you first learn to identify this group of stars? Although they are familiar to many people around the world, different cultures have assoc

NGC 7822: Stars and Dust Pillars in Infrared

Within the nebula, bright edges and complex dust sculptures dominate this detailed skyscape taken in infrared light by NASA's Wide Field Infrar

Major Fireball Meteor

The sky glows with soft pinkish colors of fading twilight in this serendipitous mountaintop vista. Taken in subfreezing temperatures, the thoughtfu

The Tarantula Nebula

The Tarantula Nebula is more than a thousand light-years in diameter, a giant region within nearby satellite galaxy the Large Magellanic Cloud, abo

NGC 7789: Caroline's Rose

Found among the rich starfields of the Milky Way, star cluster NGC 7789 lies about 8,000 light-years away toward the constellation Cassiopeia. A la

The Pleiades Deep and Dusty

The well-known Pleiades star cluster is slowly destroying part of a passing cloud of gas and dust. The Pleiades is the brightest open cluster of st

A Colourful Moon

The Moon is normally seen in subtle shades of grey. But small, measurable color differences have been greatly exaggerated in this mosaic of high-reso

Williamina Fleming's Triangular Wisp

Chaotic in appearance, these tangled filaments of shocked, glowing gas are spread across planet Earth's sky toward the constellation of Cygnus

NGC 1055 Close-up

Big, beautiful spiral galaxy NGC 1055 is a dominant member of a small galaxy group a mere 60 million light-years away toward the aquatically intimi

NGC 2261: Hubble's Variable Nebula

What causes Hubble's Variable Nebula to vary? The unusual nebula featured here changes its appearance noticeably in just a few weeks. Discovere

Thor's Helmet Emission Nebula

This helmet-shaped cosmic cloud with wing-like appendages is popularly called Thor's Helmet. Thor's Helmet spans about 30 light-years acros

Night on a Spooky Planet

What spooky planet is this? Planet Earth of course, on a dark and stormy night in 2013 at Hverir, a geothermally active area along the volcanic lan

NGC 7635: Bubble in a Cosmic Sea

Adrift in a cosmic sea of stars and glowing gas the delicate, floating apparition left of center in this widefield view is cataloged as NGC 7635, the

NGC 4993: The Galactic Home of an Historic Explos...

That reddish dot -- it wasn't there before. It's the dot to the upper left of galaxy NGC 4993's center, do you see it? When scanning th

A Beautiful Trifid

The beautiful Trifid Nebula is a cosmic study in contrasts. Also known as M20, it lies about 5,000 light-years away toward the nebula rich constell

M51: The Whirlpool Galaxy

Find the Big Dipper and follow the handle away from the dipper's bowl until you get to the last bright star. Then, just slide your telescope a little

Stars and Dust in Corona Australis

Blue dust clouds and energetic stars inhabit this telescopic vista, less than 500 light-years away toward the northern boundary of Corona Australis

Haumea of the Outer Solar System

One of the strangest objects in the outer Solar System has recently been found to have a ring. The object, named Haumea, is the fifth designated dw

GW170817: A Spectacular Multi-Radiation Merger Ev...

Both gravitational and electromagnetic radiations have been detected in rapid succession for an explosive merging event for the first time. Data fr

All-Sky Steve

Familiar green and red tinted auroral emission floods the sky along the northern (top) horizon in this fish-eye panorama projection from September 27

Under the Galaxy

The Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way, stands above the southern horizon in this telephoto view from Las Campanas Observato

Milky Way and Zodiacal Light over Australian Pinn...

What strange world is this? Earth. In the foreground of the featured image are the Pinnacles, unusual rock spires in Nambung National Park in Weste

Unusual Mountain Ahuna Mons on Asteroid Ceres

Ahuna Mons is the largest mountain on the largest known asteroid in our Solar System, Ceres, which orbits our Sun in the main asteroid belt between

Dark Molecular Cloud Barnard 68

Where did all the stars go? What used to be considered a hole in the sky is now known to astronomers as a dark molecular cloud. Here, a high concen

Global Aurora at Mars

A strong solar event last September triggered intense global aurora at Mars. Before (left) and during (right) the solar storm, these projections sh

Portrait of NGC 281

Look through the cosmic cloud cataloged as NGC 281 and you might miss the stars of open cluster IC 1590. The eye-catching shapes looming in this po

Puppis A Supernova Remnant

Driven by the explosion of a massive star, supernova remnant Puppis A is blasting into the surrounding interstellar medium about 7,000 light-years aw

LIGO-Virgo GW170814 Skymap

From around planet Earth three gravitational wave detectors have now reported a joint detection of ripples in spacetime, the fourth announced detecti

Massive Shell-Expelling Star G79.29+0.46

Stars this volatile are quite rare. Captured in the midst of dust clouds and visible to the right and above center is massive G79.29+0.46, one of l

How to Identify that Light in the Sky

What is that light in the sky? Perhaps one of humanity's more common questions, an answer may result from a few quick observations. For example

A Conjunction of Comets

A conjunction of comets is captured in this pretty star field from the morning of September 17. Discovered in July by a robotic sky survey searching

Veil Nebula: Wisps of an Exploded Star

Wisps like this are all that remain visible of a Milky Way star. Some time ago that star exploded in a supernova leaving the Veil Nebula. At the ti

Orion above Easter Island

Why were the statues on Easter Island built? No one is sure. What is sure is that over 800 large stone statues exist there. The Easter Island statu

Bright Spiral Galaxy M81

One of the brightest galaxies in planet Earth's sky is similar in size to our Milky Way Galaxy: big, beautiful M81. This grand spiral galaxy ca

NGC 6334: The Cat's Paw Nebula

Nebulas are perhaps as famous for being identified with familiar shapes as perhaps cats are for getting into trouble. Still, no known cat could hav

Saturn's Rings from the Inside Out

What do Saturn's rings look like from Saturn? Images from the robotic spacecraft Cassini are providing humanity with this unprecedented vantage

Pluto Flyover from New Horizons

What if you could fly over Pluto -- what might you see? The New Horizons spacecraft did just this in 2015 July as it shot past the distant world at

A Total Eclipse at the End of the World

Would you go to the end of the world to see a total eclipse of the Sun? If you did, would you be surprised to find someone else there already? In 2

Aurora Slathers up the Sky

Like salsa verde on your favorite burrito, a green aurora slathers up the sky in this June 25 snapshot from the International Space Station. About

Noodle Mosaic of Saturn

On April 26 the Cassini spacecraft swooped toward Saturn on the first of its Grand Finale dives between Saturn and rings. In this long, thin, noodl

A Sagittarius Triplet

These three bright nebulae are often featured on telescopic tours of the constellation Sagittarius and the crowded starfields of the central Milky

The Milky Way over Monument Valley

You don't have to be at Monument Valley to see the Milky Way arc across the sky like this -- but it helps. Only at Monument Valley USA would yo

Mercury as Revealed by MESSENGER

Mercury had never been seen like this before. In 2008, the robotic MESSENGER spacecraft buzzed past Mercury for the second time and imaged terrain

Apollo 11: Catching Some Sun

Bright sunlight glints and long dark shadows mark this image of the lunar surface. It was taken July 20, 1969 by Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong,

Phobos: Moon over Mars

A tiny moon with a scary name, Phobos emerges from behind the Red Planet in this timelapse sequence from the Earth-orbiting Hubble Space Telescope.

IC 1396: Emission Nebula in Cepheus

Stunning emission nebula IC 1396 mixes glowing cosmic gas and dark dust clouds in the high and far off constellation of Cepheus. Energized by the b

Ireson Hill on Mars

What created this unusual hill on Mars? Its history has become a topic of research, but its shape and two-tone structure makes it one of the more u

Thunder Moon over Pisa

What's wrong with this picture? If you figure it out, you may then realize where the image was taken. The oddity lies actually in one of the bu

Moon Shadow versus Sun Reflection

What are those lights and shadows crossing the Earth? As the featured five-second time-lapse video progresses, a full day on planet Earth is depict

Lightning Eclipse from the Planet of the Goats

Thunderstorms almost spoiled this view of the spectacular 2011 June 15 total lunar eclipse. Instead, storm clouds parted for 10 minutes during the

Close-up of The Great Red Spot

On July 11, the Juno spacecraft once again swung near to Jupiter's turbulent cloud tops in its looping 53 day orbit around the Solar System'

Full Moon and Boston Light

This well-planned telephoto timelapse captures July's Full Moon rise across outer Boston Harbor, Massachusetts, planet Earth. In the foreground

Messier 63: The Sunflower Galaxy

A bright spiral galaxy of the northern sky, Messier 63 is about 25 million light-years distant in the loyal constellation Canes Venatici. Also cata

Star Cluster Omega Centauri in HDR

Behold the largest ball of stars in our galaxy. Omega Centauri is packed with about 10 million stars and packed within a volume of only about 150 l

Spiral Galaxy NGC 1512: The Nuclear Ring

What's happening around the center of this spiral galaxy? Seen in total, NGC 1512 appears to be a barred spiral galaxy -- a type of spiral that

Hidden Galaxy IC 342

Similar in size to large, bright spiral galaxies in our neighborhood, IC 342 is a mere 10 million light-years distant in the long-necked, northern

A View Toward M106

Big, bright, beautiful spiral, Messier 106 dominates this cosmic vista. The two degree wide telescopic field of view looks toward the well-trained

Atlas, Daphnis, and Pan

Atlas, Daphnis, and Pan are small, inner, ring moons of Saturn, shown at the same scale in this montage of images from the still Saturn-orbiting Ca

Aphelion Sunrise

On July 3rd, planet Earth reached aphelion, the farthest point in its elliptical orbit around the Sun. Each year, this day of the most distant Sun

Composite Messier 20 and 21

The beautiful Trifid Nebula, also known as Messier 20, lies about 5,000 light-years away, a colorful study in cosmic contrasts. It shares this near

The Great Nebula in Carina

In one of the brightest parts of Milky Way lies a nebula where some of the oddest things occur. NGC 3372, known as the Great Nebula in Carina, is h

M89: Elliptical Galaxy with Outer Shells and Plum...

Can you see them? This famous Messier object M89, a seemingly simple elliptical galaxy, is surrounded by faint shells and plumes. The cause of the

Saturn in the Milky Way

Saturn is near opposition in planet Earth's sky. Rising at sunset and shining brightly throughout the night, it also lies near a line-of-sight

Firefall by Moonlight

On certain dates in February, an elusive firefall can be spotted at sunset in Yosemite National Park, when the weather cooperates and the direction

Orbiting Jupiter

What would it be like to orbit Jupiter? The dramatic featured video depicts just this and