Category: Image of the Day

Long Tailed Comet SWAN

Blowing in the solar wind the spectacular ion tail of Comet SWAN (C/2020 F8) extends far across this 10 degree wide telephoto field of view. Captured on May 2 its greenish coma was about 6 light-minutes from Earth. The pretty...

/ May 8, 2020

LDN 1471: A Windblown Star Cavity

What is the cause of this unusual parabolic structure? This illuminated cavity, known as LDN 1471, was created by a newly forming star, seen as the bright source at the peak of the parabola. This protostar is experiencing a stellar...

/ May 6, 2020

Carina in Perspective

You need to be in the south, looking south, to see such a sky. And only then if you’re lucky. Just above the picturesque tree is the impressive Carina Nebula, one of the few nebulas in the sky that is...

/ May 5, 2020

Earth Flyby of BepiColombo

What it would look like to approach planet Earth? Such an event was recorded visually in great detail by ESA’s and JAXA’s robotic BepiColombo spacecraft last month as it swung back past Earth on its journey in to the planet...

/ May 4, 2020

A Message from Earth

What are these Earthlings trying to tell us? The featured message was broadcast from Earth towards the globular star cluster M13 in 1974. During the dedication of the Arecibo Observatory – still one of the largest single radio telescopes in...

/ May 3, 2020

Radio, The Big Ear, and the WOW Signal

Since the early days of radio and television we have been freely broadcasting signals into space. For some time now, we have been listening too. A large radio telescope at Ohio State University known as affectionately The Big Ear was...

/ May 2, 2020

A View Toward M106

Big, bright, beautiful spiral, Messier 106 dominates this cosmic vista. The nearly two degree wide telescopic field of view looks toward the well-trained constellation Canes Venatici, near the handle of the Big Dipper. Also known as NGC 4258, M106 is...

/ May 1, 2020

Andromeda Island Universe

The most distant object easily visible to the unaided eye is M31, the great Andromeda Galaxy some two and a half million light-years away. But without a telescope, even this immense spiral galaxy – spanning over 200,000 light years –...

/ April 30, 2020

The Ion Tail of New Comet SWAN

Newly discovered Comet SWAN has already developed an impressive tail. The comet came in from the outer Solar System and has just passed inside the orbit of the Earth. Officially designated C/2020 F8 (SWAN), this outgassing interplanetary iceberg will pass...

/ April 29, 2020

The Kepler 90 Planetary System

Do other stars have planetary systems like our own? Yes — one such system is Kepler-90. Cataloged by the Kepler satellite that operated from Earth orbit between 2009 and 2018, eight planets were discovered, giving Kepler-90 the same number of...

/ April 28, 2020