Cover photo
Verified name
Astronomy Picture of the Day (APoD)
994,395 followers|134,071,270 views


The Flare and the Galaxy
Image Credit & Copyright: Martin Mark

Is this person throwing a lightning bolt? No. Despite appearances, this person is actually pointing in the direction of a bright Iridium flare, a momentary reflection of sunlight off of a communications satellite in orbit around the Earth. As the Iridium satellite orbits, reflective antennas became aligned between the observer and the Sun to create a flash brighter than any star in the night sky. Iridium flares typically last several seconds, longer than most meteors. Also unlike meteors, the flares are symmetric and predictable. The featured flare involved Iridium satellite 15 and occurred over southern Estonia last week. In this well-planned image, a spectacular night sky appears in the background, complete with the central band of our Milky Way Galaxy running vertically up the image center.
Михаил «Mike» Опенков's profile photoLaura Richards's profile photoAngela R's profile photoDaz Thornton's profile photo
Mad As!!! 
Add a comment...
Pluto in Enhanced Color
Image Credit: +NASA, Johns Hopkins Univ./APL, Southwest Research Inst.

Pluto is more colorful than we can see. Color data and images of our Solar System's most famous dwarf planet, taken by the robotic New Horizons spacecraft during its flyby in July, have been digitally combined to give an enhanced view of this ancient world sporting an unexpectedly young surface. The featured enhanced color image is not only esthetically pretty but scientifically useful, making surface regions of differing chemical composition visually distinct. For example, the light-colored heart-shaped Tombaugh Regio on the lower right is clearly shown here to be divisible into two regions that are geologically different, with the leftmost lobe Sputnik Planum also appearing unusually smooth. New Horizons now continues on beyond Pluto, will continue to beam back more images and data, and will soon be directed to change course so that it can fly past asteroid 2014 MU69 in 2019 January.
Anthony Todt's profile photoMiguel Angel Martin Martin's profile photoEd vazquez's profile photoWhatever Man's profile photo
Pluto has a heart! Brilliant, I want to see more ☺
Add a comment...
The Seagull Nebula
Image Credit & Copyright: Dieter Willasch (Astro-Cabinet)

A broad expanse of glowing gas and dust presents a bird-like visage to astronomers from planet Earth, suggesting its popular moniker - The Seagull Nebula. This portrait of the cosmic bird covers a 1.6 degree wide swath across the plane of the Milky Way, near the direction of Sirius, alpha star of the constellation Canis Major. Of course, the region includes objects with other catalog designations: notably NGC 2327, a compact, dusty emission region with an embedded massive star that forms the bird's head (aka the Parrot Nebula, above center). Dominated by the reddish glow of atomic hydrogen, the complex of gas and dust clouds with bright young stars spans over 100 light-years at an estimated 3,800 light-year distance.
Patrícia Ribeiro de Abreu's profile photoMegan Wallace's profile photoFabio de Oliveira's profile photoDilip Gain's profile photo
Add a comment...
The Large Cloud of Magellan
Image Credit & Copyright: Carlos Fairbairn

The 16th century Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan and his crew had plenty of time to study the southern sky during the first circumnavigation of planet Earth. As a result, two fuzzy cloud-like objects easily visible to southern hemisphere skygazers are known as the Clouds of Magellan, now understood to be satellite galaxies of our much larger, spiral Milky Way galaxy. About 160,000 light-years distant in the constellation Dorado, the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) is seen here in a remarkably deep, colorful, image. Spanning about 15,000 light-years or so, it is the most massive of the Milky Way's satellite galaxies and is the home of the closest supernova in modern times, SN 1987A. The prominent patch below center is 30 Doradus, also known as the magnificent Tarantula Nebula, is a giant star-forming region about 1,000 light-years across.
Astronomia Ao Vivo's profile photoSebastianni Seba's profile photoArthur Sweeney's profile photoDilip Gain's profile photo
I truly LOVE these images of space!!! The beauty and immensity of it all is just OVERWHELMING!!! Keep 'em coming.
Add a comment...
Meteors and Milky Way over Mount Rainier
Image Credit & Copyright: Matthew Dieterich

Despite appearances, the sky is not falling. Two weeks ago, however, tiny bits of comet dust were. Featured here is the Perseids meteor shower as captured over Mt. Rainier, Washington, USA. The image was created from a two-hour time lapse video, snaring over 20 meteors, including one that brightened dramatically on the image left. Although each meteor train typically lasts less than a second, the camera was able to capture their color progressions as they disintegrated in the Earth's atmosphere. Here an initial green tint may be indicative of small amounts of glowing magnesium atoms that were knocked off the meteor by atoms in the Earth's atmosphere. To cap things off, the central band of our Milky Way Galaxy was simultaneously photographed rising straight up behind the snow-covered peak of Mt. Rainier. Another good meteor shower is expected in mid-November when debris from a different comet intersects Earth as the Leonids.
Lee Wonnell's profile photoSebastianni Seba's profile photoTrish Beske's profile photoJesús Acosta's profile photo
Absolutely amazing I love this picture!!
Add a comment...
Giant Cluster Bends, Breaks Images
Image Credit: +NASA, +European Space Agency, ESA, H. Lee & H. Ford (Johns Hopkins U.)

What are those strange blue objects? Many of the brightest blue images are of a single, unusual, beaded, blue, ring-like galaxy which just happens to line-up behind a giant cluster of galaxies. Cluster galaxies here typically appear yellow and -- together with the cluster's dark matter -- act as a gravitational lens. A gravitational lens can create several images of background galaxies, analogous to the many points of light one would see while looking through a wine glass at a distant street light. The distinctive shape of this background galaxy -- which is probably just forming -- has allowed astronomers to deduce that it has separate images at 4, 10, 11, and 12 o'clock, from the center of the cluster. A blue smudge near the cluster center is likely another image of the same background galaxy. In all, a recent analysis postulated that at least 33 images of 11 separate background galaxies are discernable. This spectacular photo of galaxy cluster CL0024+1654 from the Hubble Space Telescope was taken in November 2004.
Ellanis McCool's profile photoEric Davis's profile photoKym Hardin's profile photoKatie Chrzanowski's profile photo
First I would like to apologize for using a term such as "dude" in an attempt to start on a friendly note. So I am going to assume you are not lying about being Jesus so to you sir I would like to say you are doing an awful job, your world has failed and you have failed as a god. You came down to die just to exploit a loop hole to a rule that you created, good job. Stop  this madness and re-write your bible because it has just created bigots.
Add a comment...
Have them in circles
994,395 people
Margaret, Arantxa Blaha, Lozada's profile photo
Tommy Armstrong's profile photo
Catherine Sanicki's profile photo
M. Williams's profile photo
Rikke Skjellerup's profile photo
david hensman's profile photo
Mike Jakobsen's profile photo
Jenna Summer's profile photo
Stone Rice's profile photo
Distant Neutrinos Detected Below Antarctic Ice
Image Credit: IceCube Collaboration, U. Wisconsin, NSF

From where do these neutrinos come? The IceCube Neutrino Observatory near the South Pole of the Earth has begun to detect nearly invisible particles of very high energy. Although these rarely-interacting neutrinos pass through much of the Earth just before being detected, where they started remains a mystery. Pictured here is IceCube's Antarctic lab accompanied by a cartoon depicting long strands of detectors frozen into the crystal clear ice below. Candidate origins for these cosmic neutrinos include the violent surroundings of supermassive black holes at the centers of distant galaxies, and tremendous stellar explosions culminating in gamma ray bursts far across the universe. As IceCube detects increasingly more high energy neutrinos, correlations with known objects may resolve this cosmic conundrum -- or we may never know.
Dominic Lloyd's profile photoPreben Pedersen's profile photoDominique Villeneuve's profile photoSwapnil Chafle's profile photo
They're from Lake Vostok. We have no clue what's down there 😇
Add a comment...
M31: The Andromeda Galaxy
Image Credit & Copyright: Robert Gendler

What is the nearest major galaxy to our own Milky Way Galaxy? Andromeda. In fact, our Galaxy is thought to look much like Andromeda. Together these two galaxies dominate the Local Group of galaxies. The diffuse light from Andromeda is caused by the hundreds of billions of stars that compose it. The several distinct stars that surround Andromeda's image are actually stars in our Galaxy that are well in front of the background object. Andromeda is frequently referred to as M31 since it is the 31st object on Messier's list of diffuse sky objects. M31 is so distant it takes about two million years for light to reach us from there. Although visible without aid, the above image of M31 is a digital mosaic of 20 frames taken with a small telescope. Much about M31 remains unknown, including exactly how long it will before it collides with our home galaxy.
Terri Nakamura's profile photoMisty Johnson's profile photoGary Loper's profile photoDilip Gain's profile photo
+Roland Lemmers Is that right Roland? And what is it that makes you presume to know me well enough to make any kind of statement about how much sense I make? Try writing something sensible yourself, that would work out much better for you.
Add a comment...
Puppis A Supernova Remnant
Image Credit & Copyright: Don Goldman

Driven by the explosion of a massive star, supernova remnant Puppis A is blasting into the surrounding interstellar medium about 7,000 light-years away. At that distance, this colorful telescopic field based on broadband and narrowband optical image data is about 60 light-years across. As the supernova remnant expands into its clumpy, non-uniform surroundings, shocked filaments of oxygen atoms glow in green-blue hues. Hydrogen and nitrogen are in red. Light from the initial supernova itself, triggered by the collapse of the massive star's core, would have reached Earth about 3,700 years ago. The Puppis A remnant is actually seen through outlying emission from the closer but more ancient Vela supernova remnant, near the crowded plane of our Milky Way galaxy. Still glowing across the electromagnetic spectrum Puppis A remains one of the brightest sources in the X-ray sky.
Светлана «Flesh Atronach» Атронах's profile photoAnna First's profile photoCarlos Eugênio Munhoz's profile photoAntonio Villagrana (Toño Villagrana)'s profile photo
Add a comment...
Collinder 399: The Coat Hanger
Image Credit & Copyright: John Chumack

Is this coat hanger a star cluster or an asterism? This cosmic hang-up has been debated over much of last century, as astronomers wondered whether this binocular-visible object is really a physically associated open cluster or a chance projection. Chance star projections are known as asterisms, an example of which is the popular Big Dipper. Recent precise measurements from different vantage points in the Earth's orbit around the Sun have uncovered discrepant angular shifts indicating that the Coat Hanger is better described as an asterism. Known more formally as Collinder 399, this bright stellar grouping is wider than the full moon and lies in the constellation of the Fox (Vulpecula).
Maricel Menal Cervelló's profile photoJannettlynn Whitener's profile photoShivang Gupta's profile photoDilip Gain's profile photo
Awesome View
Add a comment...
Dione, Rings, Shadows, Saturn
Image Credit: Cassini Imaging Team, SSI, +NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, +European Space Agency, ESA, +NASA

What's happening in this strange juxtaposition of moon and planet? First and foremost, Saturn's moon Dione was captured here in a dramatic panorama by the robotic Cassini spacecraft currently orbiting the giant planet. The bright and cratered moon itself spans about 1100-km, with the large multi-ringed crater Evander visible on the lower right. Since the rings of Saturn are seen here nearly edge-on, they are directly visible only as a thin horizontal line that passes behind Dione. Arcing across the bottom of the image, however, are shadows of Saturn's rings, showing some of the rich texture that could not be seen directly. In the background, few cloud features are visible on Saturn. The featured image was taken during the last planned flyby of Dione by Cassini, as the spacecraft is scheduled to dive into Saturn's atmosphere during 2017.
Constance Beliveau's profile photoSongs of a Wayfarer's profile photoToday's Memory's profile photoMARK SHARP's profile photo
+cakes smashington I bet you will 
Add a comment...
Little Planet Curiosity
Image Credit: +NASA, +NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory-Caltech, MSSS - Little Planet: Andrew Bodrov

A curious robot almost completely straddles this rocky little planet. Of course, the planet is really Mars and the robot is the car-sized Curiosity Rover, posing over its recent drilling target in the Marias Pass area of lower Mount Sharp. The 92 images used to assemble the little planet projection, a digitally warped and stitched mosaic covering 360x180 degrees, were taken by the rover's Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) during the Curiosity mission sol (martian day) 1065. That corresponds to 2015 August 5, three Earth years since Curiosity landed on the surface of the Red Planet. The composite selfie excludes images that show the rover's robotic arm and mount of the MAHLI camera itself, but their shadow is visible beneath. Check out this spectacular interactive version of Curiosity's sol 1065 panorama.
Kym Hardin's profile photoH. Krishna's profile photoToha Mohammad's profile photoLinda Gayle's profile photo
Interestingly remarkable indeed;Quite informative too to underdtsnd de technoligical facts nd its back ground!!
Add a comment...
Discover the cosmos!
Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.