The glowing wisps of nebula NGC 6979 resulted from a supernova, the explosion of a massive star, over 5000 years ago. The ejected stellar gas continuously collides with gas and dust clouds of the surrounding interstellar medium, causing complex structures and colors. The nebula makes up part of the Cygnus Loop, along with Pickering's Triangular Wisp and the well-known Veil Nebula. Image released February 2014.
Astronomy Picture of the Day: 01/18/14 - Dancing Squid This is NGC 1760 (also known as N11 or the Dancing Squid nebula), one of the most massive, active star-forming regions located in our local corner of the universe. More specifically, this region belongs to the northern part of a neighboring dwarf-galaxy of the Milky Way; a little place you may know of as the Large Magellanic Cloud. The intricate network of interlinking cosmic 'bubbles' extend about 1,000 lig
NGC 7380 (also known as the Wizard Nebula) is an open cluster discovered by Caroline Herschel in 1787. William Herschel included his sister's discovery in his catalog, and labelled it H VIII.77. It is also known as 142 in the 1959 Sharpless catalog (Sh2-142). This reasonably large nebula is located in Cepheus. Distance to Earth: about 7,000 light years
A Hubble picture of a star-forming cloud of dust and gas called the Orion Nebula.
Cotton Candy Nebula - The nebula known as N11, complete with sparkly star clusters embedded in fluffy pink clouds of gas. This exceptionally energetic star-forming region, also known as the Bean Nebula, extends over 1,000 light-years in the Large Magellanic Cloud. Three generations of star formation have created shells of gas and dust which are being blown away by radiation from the newborn stars.
Neptune: Dark, cold, and whipped by supersonic winds, Neptune is the furthest away from the Sun of the hydrogen and helium gas giants in our Solar System. No probe has ever been sent there, and its thick atmosphere acts as a dark veil to the surface below. We do know that it has 13 moons and a ring system, and takes almost 165 Earth years to orbit the Sun. Neptune's atmosphere extends to great depths, gradually merging into water and other melted ices over a heavier, approximately Earth-sized...
Thousands of sparkling young stars are nestled within the giant nebula NGC 3603. This stellar "jewel box" is one of the most massive young star clusters in the Milky Way Galaxy. (credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration)
"Unlike Uranus and Ceres, Neptune was not discovered by accident. It was proposed that a planet beyond Uranus could account for irregularities in Uranus' orbit. Independently, two astronomers, John Couch Adams in England and Urbain-Jean-Joseph Le Verrier in France, calculated the position of this yet unknown planet." - Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
The first released VST image shows the spectacular star-forming region Messier 17, also known as the Omega Nebula or the Swan Nebula, as it has never been seen before. This vast region of gas, dust and hot young stars lies in the heart of the Milky Way in the constellation of Sagittarius (The Archer).
The Whirlpool galaxy, M51, has been one of the most photogenic galaxies in amateur and professional astronomy. Easily photographed and viewed by smaller telescopes, this celestial beauty is studied extensively in a range of wavelengths by large ground- and space-based observatories.