Category: Image of the Day

Moonrise and Mountain Shadow

What phase of the Moon is 3.14 radians from the Sun? The Full Moon, of course. Even though the Moon might look full for several days, the Moon is truly at its full phase when it is 3.14 radians (aka...

/ March 14, 2020

Falcon 9 Boostback

Short star trails appear in this single 84 second long exposure, taken on March 6 from a rotating planet. The remarkable scene also captures the flight of a Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon cargo spacecraft over Cape Canaveral Air Force...

/ March 12, 2020

An Extreme Black Hole Outburst

Astronomers believe they have now found the most powerful example of a black hole outburst yet seen in our Universe. The composite, false-color featured image is of a cluster of galaxies in the constellation of Ophiuchus, the serpent-bearer. The composite...

/ March 11, 2020

Wide Field: Fox Fur, Unicorn, and Christmas Tree

What do the following things have in common: a cone, the fur of a fox, and a Christmas tree? Answer: they all occur in the constellation of the unicorn (Monoceros). Pictured as a star forming region and cataloged as NGC...

/ March 10, 2020

Milky Way and Zodiacal Light over Chile

What is the band of light connecting the ground to the Milky Way? Zodiacal light — a stream of dust that orbits the Sun in the inner Solar System. It is most easily seen just before sunrise, where it has...

/ March 9, 2020

Wolf Rayet Star 124: Stellar Wind Machine

Some stars explode in slow motion. Rare, massive Wolf-Rayet stars are so tumultuous and hot that they are slowly disintegrating right before our telescopes. Glowing gas globs each typically over 30 times more massive than the Earth are being expelled...

/ March 8, 2020

Pic du Midi Panorama

A surreal night skyscape, this panorama stitched from 12 photos looks to the west at an evening winter sky over Pic du Midi Observatory, Pyrenees Mountains, Planet Earth. Telescope domes and a tall communications tower inhabit the rugged foreground. On...

/ March 7, 2020

Mars Panorama from Curiosity

The Mars Rover named Curiosity recorded high-resolution, 360 degree views of its location on Mars late last year. The panoramic scene was stitched from over 1,000 images from Curiosity’s Mast camera or Mastcam. In this version, captured with Mastcam’s medium...

/ March 6, 2020

The Light, the Dark, and the Dusty

This colorful skyscape spans about four full moons across nebula rich starfields along the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy in the royal northern constellation Cepheus. Near the edge of the region’s massive molecular cloud some 2,400 light-years away, bright...

/ March 5, 2020

The Slow Dance of Galaxies NGC 5394 and 5395

If you like slow dances, then this may be one for you. A single turn in this dance takes several hundred million years. Two galaxies, NGC 5394 and NGC 5395, slowly whirl about each other in a gravitational interaction that...

/ March 4, 2020