Skip to main content

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day:

Have you seen a panorama from another world lately? Assembled from high-resolution scans of the original film frames, this one sweeps across the magnificent desolation of the Apollo 11 landing site on the Moon's Sea of Tranquility. The images were taken 55 years ago by Neil Armstrong looking out his window on the Eagle Lunar Module shortly after the July 20, 1969 landing. The frame at the far left (AS11-37-5449) is the first picture taken by a person on another world. Thruster nozzles can be seen in the foreground on the left (toward the south), while at the right (west), the shadow of the Eagle is visible. For scale, the large, shallow crater on the right has a diameter of about 12 meters. Frames taken from the Lunar Module windows about an hour and a half after landing, before walking on the lunar surface, were intended to document the landing site in case an early departure was necessary.

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day:

For some, these subtle bands of light and shadow stretched across the sky as the Sun set on July 11. Known as anticrepuscular rays, the bands are formed as a large cloud bank near the western horizon cast long shadows through the atmosphere at sunset. Due to the camera's perspective, the bands of light and shadow seem to converge toward the eastern (opposite) horizon at a point seen just above a 14th century hilltop castle in Brno, Czech Republic. In the foreground, denizens of planet Earth are enjoying the region's annual Planet Festival in the park below the Brno Observatory and Planetarium. And while crepuscular and anticrepuscular rays are a relatively common atmospheric phenomenon, this festival's 10 meter diameter inflatable spheres representing bodies of the Solar System are less often seen on planet Earth.

Photo by Pavel Gabzdyl

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day:

Unlike most entries in Charles Messier's famous catalog of deep sky objects, M24 is not a bright galaxy, star cluster, or nebula. It's a gap in nearby, obscuring interstellar dust clouds that allows a view of the distant stars in the Sagittarius spiral arm of our Milky Way galaxy. Direct your gaze through this gap with binoculars or small telescope and you are looking through a window over 300 light-years wide at stars some 10,000 light-years or more from Earth. Sometimes called the Small Sagittarius Star Cloud, M24's luminous stars are left of center in this gorgeous starscape. Covering over 6 degrees or the width of 12 full moons in the constellation Sagittarius, the telescopic field of view includes dark markings B92 and B93 near the center of M24, along with other clouds of dust and glowing nebulae toward the center of the Milky Way.

Photo by Christopher Freeburn

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day:

When Vulcan, the Roman god of fire, swings his blacksmith's hammer, the sky is lit on fire. A recent eruption of Chile's Villarrica volcano shows the delicate interplay between this fire -- actually glowing steam and ash from melted rock -- and the light from distant stars in our Milky Way galaxy and the Magellanic Clouds galaxies. In the featured timelapse video, the Earth rotates under the stars as Villarrica erupts. With about 1350 volcanoes, our planet Earth rivals Jupiter's moon Io as the most geologically active place in the Solar System. While both have magnificent beauty, the reasons for the existence of volcanoes on both worlds are different. Earth's volcanoes typically occur between slowly shifting outer shell plates, while Io's volcanoes are caused by gravitational flexing resulting from Jupiter's tidal gravitational pull.

Video by Gabriel Muñoz; Text: Natalia Lewandowska (SUNY Oswego)

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day:

What are these unusual interstellar structures? Bright-rimmed, flowing shapes gather near the center of this rich starfield toward the borders of the nautical southern constellations Pupis and Vela. Composed of interstellar gas and dust, the grouping of light-year sized cometary globules is about 1300 light-years distant. Energetic ultraviolet light from nearby hot stars has molded the globules and ionized their bright rims. The globules also stream away from the Vela supernova remnant which may have influenced their swept-back shapes. Within them, cores of cold gas and dust are likely collapsing to form low mass stars, whose formation will ultimately cause the globules to disperse. In fact, cometary globule CG 30 (on the upper left) sports a small reddish glow near its head, a telltale sign of energetic jets from a star in the early stages of formation.

Photo by Mark Hanson & Martin Pugh, Observatorio El Sauce

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day:

Why does this galaxy have such a long tail? In this stunning vista, based on image data from the Hubble Legacy Archive, distant galaxies form a dramatic backdrop for disrupted spiral galaxy Arp 188, the Tadpole Galaxy. The cosmic tadpole is a mere 420 million light-years distant toward the northern constellation of the Dragon (Draco). Its eye-catching tail is about 280 thousand light-years long and features massive, bright blue star clusters. One story goes that a more compact intruder galaxy crossed in front of Arp 188 - from right to left in this view - and was slung around behind the Tadpole by their gravitational attraction. During the close encounter, tidal forces drew out the spiral galaxy's stars, gas, and dust forming the spectacular tail. The intruder galaxy itself, estimated to lie about 300 thousand light-years behind the Tadpole, can be seen through foreground spiral arms at the upper right. Following its terrestrial namesake, the Tadpole Galaxy will likely lose its tail as it grows older, the tail's star clusters forming smaller satellites of the large spiral galaxy. APOD in world languages: Arabic (IG), Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese (Beijing), Chinese (Taiwan), Czech, Dutch, Farsi, French, German, Hebrew, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, Serbian, Slovenian, Spanish, Taiwanese, Turkish, and Ukrainian

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day:

The galaxy was never in danger. For one thing, the Triangulum galaxy (M33), pictured, is much bigger than the tiny grain of rock at the head of the meteor. For another, the galaxy is much farther away -- in this instance 3 million light years as opposed to only about 0.0003 light seconds. Even so, the meteor's path took it angularly below the galaxy. Also the wind high in Earth's atmosphere blew the meteor's glowing evaporative molecule train away from the galaxy, in angular projection. Still, the astrophotographer was quite lucky to capture both a meteor and a galaxy in a single exposure -- which was subsequently added to two other images of M33 to bring up the spiral galaxy's colors. At the end, the meteor was gone in a second, but the galaxy will last billions of years. Your Sky Surprise: What picture did APOD feature on your birthday? (post 1995)

Photo by Aman Chokshi

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day:

In 1990, cruising four billion miles from the Sun, the Voyager 1 spacecraft looked back to make this first ever Solar System family portrait. The complete portrait is a 60 frame mosaic made from a vantage point 32 degrees above the ecliptic plane. In it, Voyager's wide-angle camera frames sweep through the inner Solar System at the left, linking up with ice giant Neptune, the Solar System's outermost planet, at the far right. Positions for Venus, Earth, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune are indicated by letters, while the Sun is the bright spot near the center of the circle of frames. The inset frames for each of the planets are from Voyager's narrow-field camera. Unseen in the portrait are Mercury, too close to the Sun to be detected, and Mars, unfortunately hidden by sunlight scattered in the camera's optical system. Closer to the Sun than Neptune at the time, small, faint Pluto's position was not covered. In 2024 Voyager 1, NASA’s longest-running and most-distant spacecraft, is some 15 billion miles away, operating in interstellar space.

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day:

Planetary nebula Jones-Emberson 1 is the death shroud of a dying Sun-like star. It lies some 1,600 light-years from Earth toward the sharp-eyed constellation Lynx. About 4 light-years across, the expanding remnant of the dying star's atmosphere was shrugged off into interstellar space, as the star's central supply of hydrogen and then helium for fusion was depleted after billions of years. Visible near the center of the planetary nebula is what remains of the stellar core, a blue-hot white dwarf star. Also known as PK 164 +31.1, the nebula is faint and very difficult to glimpse at a telescope's eyepiece. But this deep image combining over 12 hours of exposure time does show it off in exceptional detail. Stars within our own Milky Way galaxy as well as background galaxies across the universe are scattered through the clear field of view. Ephemeral on the cosmic stage, Jones-Emberson 1 will fade away over the next few thousand years. Its hot, central white dwarf star will take billions of years to cool.

Photo by Team OURANOS

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day:

Globular star cluster Omega Centauri packs about 10 million stars much older than the Sun into a volume some 150 light-years in diameter. Also known as NGC 5139, at a distance of 15,000 light-years it's the largest and brightest of 200 or so known globular clusters that roam the halo of our Milky Way galaxy. Though most star clusters consist of stars with the same age and composition, the enigmatic Omega Cen exhibits the presence of different stellar populations with a spread of ages and chemical abundances. In fact, Omega Cen may be the remnant core of a small galaxy merging with the Milky Way. With a yellowish hue, Omega Centauri's red giant stars are easy to pick out in this sharp telescopic view. A two-decade-long exploration of the dense star cluster with the Hubble Space Telescope has revealed evidence for a massive black hole near the center of Omega Centauri.

Photo by Juergen Stein

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day:

These three bright nebulae are often featured on telescopic tours of the constellation Sagittarius and the crowded starfields of the central Milky Way. In fact, 18th century cosmic tourist Charles Messier cataloged two of them; M8, the large nebula above center, and colorful M20 below and left in the frame. The third emission region includes NGC 6559, right of M8 and separated from the larger nebula by a dark dust lane. All three are stellar nurseries about five thousand light-years or so distant. Over a hundred light-years across the expansive M8 is also known as the Lagoon Nebula. M20's popular moniker is the Trifid. Glowing hydrogen gas creates the dominant red color of the emission nebulae. But for striking contrast, blue hues in the Trifid are due to dust reflected starlight. The broad interstellar skyscape spans almost 4 degrees or 8 full moons on the sky.

Photo by Andy Ermolli

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day:

These clouds are doubly unusual. First, they are rare noctilucent clouds, meaning that they are visible at night -- but only just before sunrise or just after sunset. Second, the source of these noctilucent clouds is actually known. In this rare case, the source of the sunlight-reflecting ice-crystals in the upper atmosphere can be traced back to the launch of a nearby SpaceX rocket about 30 minutes earlier. Known more formally as polar mesospheric clouds, the vertex of these icy wisps happens to converge just in front of a rising crescent Moon. The featured image -- and accompanying video -- were captured over Orlando, Florida, USA about a week ago. The bright spot to the right of the Moon is the planet Jupiter, while the dotted lights above the horizon on the right are from an airplane.

Photo by Pascal Fouquet

QUICK LINKS

Share some of your memories and history of Camano Island

SECURITY & SURVEILLANCE SYSTEMS - HOME AUDIO  425-379-7733

360-454-6973 - Camano Island, WA

100% Satisfaction - 360-572-4737