Nasa Image of the Day
Fjord and Glacier in East-Central Greenland

Fjord and Glacier in East-Central Greenland

On May 19, 2016, NASA's IceBridge, an airborne survey of polar ice, crossed Greenland to fly central glacier flowlines in the east-central region of the country. This photo captures the fjord of Violin Glacier, with Nord Glacier at the upper left corner. This is IceBridge's eighth spring campaign of science flights over Arctic sea and land.

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Browse through our bookstore and check out our fine selection of books from star charts and astrophotography to mathematical astronomy. We are sure you will find the book that best suits your needs.

Sky View Cafe
Sky View Cafe

Sky View Café is a Java applet that lets you use your web browser to see many types of astronomical information, in both graphical and numerical form. You can see which stars and planets will be out tonight in the sky above your home town, see how the next solar or lunar eclipse will look from London, or find out when the Moon rose over Sydney on your birthday ten years ago. Sky View Café includes star charts, a 3-D orrery, displays of the moons of Jupiter and Saturn, an astronomical event calendar, an ephemeris generator, and many other features. Enter Sky View Café now!

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The Sky Tonight Astronomy News
NASA Telescopes Find Clues for How Giant Black Holes Formed So Quickly
Tue, 24 May 2016 13:00:00 -0400Hubble Image

Using data from three of NASA's Great Observatories (the Hubble Space Telescope, Chandra X-ray Observatory, and Spitzer Space Telescope), scientists have found the best evidence to date that supermassive black holes in the early universe were produced by the direct collapse of a gas cloud. If confirmed, this result could lead to new insight into how black holes were formed and grew billions of years ago. This artist's illustration depicts a possible "seed" for the formation of a supermassive black hole. The inset boxes contain Chandra (top) and Hubble (bottom) images of one of two candidate seeds, where the properties in the data matched those predicted by sophisticated models produced by researchers of the direct-collapse mechanism.



Call for Media: First results from ESA’s LISA Pathfinder mission - Read more >
Tue, 24 May 2016 16:15:00 +0200


Media representatives are invited to a briefing on the first results from ESA’s LISA Pathfinder mission, a technology demonstrator for the observation of gravitational waves from space.




Are mystery Mars plumes caused by space weather? - Read more >
Mon, 23 May 2016 15:00:00 +0200


Mysterious high-rise clouds seen appearing suddenly in the martian atmosphere on a handful of occasions may be linked to space weather, say Mars Express scientists.




Hubble Takes Mars Portrait Near Close Approach
Thu, 19 May 2016 13:00:00 -0400Hubble Image

On May 12, 2016, astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope captured this striking image of Mars, when the planet was 50 million miles from Earth. The photo reveals details as small as 20 miles to 30 miles across. This observation was made just a few days before Mars opposition on May 22, when the sun and Mars will be on exact opposite sides of Earth. Mars also will be 47.4 million miles from Earth. On May 30, Mars will be the closest it has been to Earth in 11 years, at a distance of 46.8 million miles. Mars is especially photogenic during opposition because it can be seen fully illuminated by the sun as viewed from Earth.



Hubble Catches Views of a Jet Rotating with Comet 252P/LINEAR
Thu, 12 May 2016 13:00:00 -0400Hubble Image

For thousands of years, humans have recorded sightings of mysterious comets sweeping across the nighttime skies. These celestial wanderers, "snowballs" of dust and ice, are swift-moving visitors from the cold depths of space. Some of them periodically visit the inner solar system during their journeys around the sun.



Second ExoMars mission moves to next launch opportunity in 2020 - Read more >
Mon, 02 May 2016 12:00:00 +0200


On 14 March 2016, the Roscosmos State Corporation and the European Space Agency (ESA) launched the jointly-developed ExoMars 2016 interplanetary mission, comprising the Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) and the Schiaparelli lander, on a Proton rocket from Baikonur, thus marking the first phase in the European-Russian ExoMars cooperation programme.




Powerful winds spotted from mysterious X-ray binaries - Read more >
Thu, 28 Apr 2016 10:00:00 +0200


ESA’s XMM-Newton has discovered gas streaming away at a quarter of the speed of light from very bright X-ray binaries in two nearby galaxies.




Hubble Discovers Moon Orbiting the Dwarf Planet Makemake
Tue, 26 Apr 2016 13:00:00 -0400Hubble Image

Makemake is one of several dwarf planets that reside in the frigid outer realm of our solar system called the Kuiper Belt, a "junkyard" of countless icy bodies left over from our solar system's formation.



Profile of a methane sea on Titan - Read more >
Tue, 26 Apr 2016 12:00:00 +0200


Saturn’s largest moon is covered in seas and lakes of liquid hydrocarbons – and one sea has now been found to be filled with pure methane, with a seabed covered by a sludge of organic-rich material, and possibly surrounded by wetlands.




Space Microscope to test universality of freefall - Read more >
Tue, 26 Apr 2016 10:00:00 +0200


France’s Microscope satellite, carrying a set of ESA high-tech thrusters, lifted off last night from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, taking advantage of the same Soyuz launch that took the EU’s Sentinel-1B into orbit.




Herschel’s Galactic panorama - Read more >
Fri, 22 Apr 2016 11:00:00 +0200


This new video from ESA’s Herschel space observatory reveals in stunning detail the intricate pattern of gas, dust and star-forming hubs along the plane of our Galaxy, the Milky Way.




Hubble Sees a Star 'Inflating' a Giant Bubble
Thu, 21 Apr 2016 11:00:00 -0400Hubble Image

Twenty-six candles grace NASA's Hubble Space Telescope's birthday cake this year, and now one giant space "balloon" will add to the festivities. Just in time for the 26th anniversary of Hubble's launch on April 24, 1990, the telescope has photographed an enormous, balloon-like bubble being blown into space by a super-hot, massive star. Astronomers trained the iconic telescope on this colorful feature, called the Bubble Nebula, or NGC 7635. The bubble is 7 light-years across about one-and-a-half times the distance from our sun to its nearest stellar neighbor, Alpha Centauri. The Bubble Nebula lies 7,100 light-years from Earth in the constellation Cassiopeia.



Calling all artists: apply now for art and science residency - Read more >
Wed, 20 Apr 2016 12:00:00 +0200


ESA, in partnership with Ars Electronica, is announcing art&science@ESA, a new art residency to explore the fertile ground between art and space science.




Interstellar dust intercepted at Saturn - Read more >
Thu, 14 Apr 2016 20:00:00 +0200


The international Cassini spacecraft has detected the faint but distinct signature of dust coming from outside our Solar System.




First light for ExoMars - Read more >
Thu, 14 Apr 2016 09:55:00 +0200


The ESA–Roscosmos ExoMars spacecraft are in excellent health following launch last month, with the orbiter sending back its first test image of a starry view taken en route to the Red Planet.




The colour-changing comet - Read more >
Thu, 07 Apr 2016 15:00:00 +0200


Rosetta’s comet has been seen changing colour and brightness in front of the ESA orbiter’s eyes, as the Sun’s heat strips away the older surface to reveal fresher material.




Behemoth Black Hole Found in an Unlikely Place
Wed, 06 Apr 2016 13:00:00 -0400Hubble Image

Imagine driving through a small town containing modest-sized buildings and seeing a 100-story skyscraper. Astronomers found the equivalent monstrosity in space: a near-record supermassive black hole that weighs 17 billion suns and lives in a cosmic backwater community of a few galaxies. Until now, extremely massive black holes have been found at the cores of very large galaxies in regions of the universe packed with other large galaxies. This is not just coincidence. Like a cosmic Pac-Man, a monster black hole gobbles smaller black holes when two galaxies collide. This game of bumper cars is common in large galaxy clusters. In fact, the current black hole record holder tips the scale at 21 billion suns and resides in the crowded Coma galaxy cluster, located 330 million light-years away.



Hubble's Journey to the Center of Our Galaxy
Thu, 31 Mar 2016 10:00:00 -0400Hubble Image

Hubble's infrared vision pierced the dusty heart of our Milky Way galaxy to reveal more than half a million stars at its core. Except for a few blue, foreground stars, the stars are part of the Milky Way's nuclear star cluster, the most massive and densest stellar cluster in our galaxy. Located 27,000 light-years away, this region is so packed with stars, it is equivalent to having a million suns crammed into the volume of space between us and our closest stellar neighbor, Alpha Centauri, 4.3 light-years away. At the very hub of our galaxy, this star cluster surrounds the Milky Way's central supermassive black hole, which is about 4 million times the mass of our sun.

To learn even more about the Milky Way's nuclear star cluster and Hubble, join astronomers and scientists during a live Hubble Hangout discussion at 3pm EDT on Thurs., March 31 at http://hbbl.us/y6k.



Found: Andromeda’s first spinning neutron star - Read more >
Thu, 31 Mar 2016 15:00:00 +0200


Decades of searching in the Milky Way’s nearby ‘twin’ galaxy Andromeda have finally paid off, with the discovery of an elusive breed of stellar corpse, a neutron star, by ESA’s XMM-Newton space telescope.




Three thousand drawings to fly into space on Cheops - Read more >
Thu, 31 Mar 2016 09:00:00 +0200


Thousands of children across Europe have taken part in a competition to submit drawings that will be miniaturised and sent into space onboard ESA’s Cheops astronomy satellite.




Integral sets limits on gamma rays from merging black holes - Read more >
Wed, 30 Mar 2016 16:00:00 +0200


Following the discovery of gravitational waves from the merging of two black holes, ESA’s Integral satellite has revealed no simultaneous gamma rays, just as models predict.




NASA and STScI Select Hubble Fellows for 2016
Fri, 25 Mar 2016 13:00:00 -0400Hubble Image

NASA has selected 36 fellows for its prestigious Einstein, Hubble, and Sagan Fellowships. Each postdoctoral fellowship provides three years of support to awardees to pursue independent research in astronomy and astrophysics. The new fellows will begin their programs in the fall of 2016 at a host university or research center of their choosing in the United States.



Frosty martian valleys - Read more >
Thu, 24 Mar 2016 11:00:00 +0100


Nestled within the fractured rim of a vast impact basin on Mars are valley floors dusted in frost.




Hubble Unveils Monster Stars
Thu, 17 Mar 2016 11:00:00 -0400Hubble Image

An international team of astronomers using the ultraviolet capabilities of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has identified nine monster stars with masses over 100 times the mass of the sun in the star cluster R136. This makes for the largest sample of very massive stars identified to date. The results, which will be published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, raise many new questions about the formation of massive stars. R136 is only a few light-years across and is located in the Tarantula Nebula within the Large Magellanic Cloud, about 170,000 light-years away from Earth. The young cluster hosts many extremely massive, hot, and luminous stars whose energy is mostly radiated in the ultraviolet.



ExoMars on its way to solve the Red Planet’s mysteries - Read more >
Mon, 14 Mar 2016 22:40:00 +0100


The first of two joint ESA-Roscosmos missions to Mars has begun a seven-month journey to the Red Planet, where it will address unsolved mysteries of the planet’s atmosphere that could indicate present-day geological – or even biological – activity.




ExoMars launch updates - Read more >
Mon, 14 Mar 2016 08:00:00 +0100


Updates from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan for the launch of ExoMars 2016 today.




Rosetta finds magnetic field-free bubble at comet - Read more >
Fri, 11 Mar 2016 10:00:00 +0100


ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft has revealed a surprisingly large region around its host comet devoid of any magnetic field.




Telescopes Combine to Push Frontier on Galaxy Clusters
Thu, 10 Mar 2016 13:00:00 -0500Hubble Image

To learn more about galaxy clusters, including how they grow via collisions, astronomers have used some of the world's most powerful telescopes, looking at different types of light. They have focused long observations with these telescopes on a half-dozen galaxy clusters. The name for the galaxy cluster project is the "Frontier Fields." Two of these Frontier Fields galaxy clusters, MACS J0416.1-2403 (abbreviated MACS J0416) in the right panel and MACS J0717.5+3745 (MACS J0717 for short) in the left panel, are featured here in a pair of multiwavelength images.


This Month's Sky Map
This Month's Sky Map

Take a look at this month's Sky Map to help you explore the wonders of the night sky!

Ideal for all sky watchers including beginners to astronomy.

The Sky Map will help you identify planets, bright stars, constellations and nebulae!
Printable version available too!


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