Nasa Image of the Day
Paw Paw Bends

Paw Paw Bends

The Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 captured this image of the Potomac River and canal on September 27, 2016. The image shows the stretch between Hancock and Cumberland, Maryland—about 97 kilometers (60 miles) if you were to hike or bike along the towpath between these two towns. West Virginia is south of the river.

Book Store
New Atlas of the MoonNew Atlas of the Moon has teamed up with to bring you the finest selection of astronomy related books at the best prices.

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!

Buy A Star Gift - Name a star for any occasion, view it live on Google Sky
Universal Star Registry Certificate Star Naming Service
Name a star for yourself or for that special person as the perfect gift that will sparkle for a lifetime! Ideal for any occassion, birthdays, christenings, anniversaries and memorials. Reserve a place in the heavens for your loved ones

The Sky Tonight Astronomy News
Detailed images of Schiaparelli and its descent hardware on Mars - Read more >
Thu, 27 Oct 2016 18:00:00 +0200

A high-resolution image taken by a NASA Mars orbiter this week reveals further details of the area where the ExoMars Schiaparelli module ended up following its descent on 19 October.

A Death Star's Ghostly Glow
Thu, 27 Oct 2016 10:00:00 -0400Hubble Image

In writer Edgar Allan Poe's short story "The Tell-Tale Heart," a killer confesses his crime after he thinks he hears the beating of his victim's heart. The heartbeat turns out to be an illusion. Astronomers, however, discovered a real "tell-tale heart" in space, 6,500 light-years from Earth. The "heart" is the crushed core of a long-dead star, called a neutron star, which exploded as a supernova and is now still beating with rhythmic precision. Evidence of its heartbeat are rapid-fire, lighthouse-like pulses of energy from the fast-spinning neutron star. The stellar relic is embedded in the center of the Crab Nebula, the expanding, tattered remains of the doomed star.

Next step towards a gravitational-wave observatory in space - Read more >
Tue, 25 Oct 2016 15:30:00 +0200

Today, ESA has invited European scientists to propose concepts for the third large mission in its science programme, to study the gravitational Universe.

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter views Schiaparelli landing site - Read more >
Fri, 21 Oct 2016 19:00:00 +0200

NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has identified new markings on the surface of the Red Planet that are believed to be related to ESA’s ExoMars Schiaparelli entry, descent and landing technology demonstrator module.

STScI Appoints Head of Newly Created Data Science Mission Office
Fri, 21 Oct 2016 11:00:00 -0400Hubble Image

Dr. Arfon Smith has been selected to lead the newly created Data Science Mission Office at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Maryland. The Data Science Mission Head is responsible for maximizing the scientific returns from a huge archive containing astronomical observations from 17 space astronomy missions and ground-based observatories.

Schiaparelli descent data: decoding underway - Read more >
Thu, 20 Oct 2016 10:40:00 +0200

Essential data from the ExoMars Schiaparelli lander sent to its mothership Trace Gas Orbiter during the module’s descent to the Red Planet’s surface yesterday has been downlinked to Earth and is currently being analysed by experts.

ExoMars briefing - Read more >
Wed, 19 Oct 2016 21:00:00 +0200

Watch live: Status report on the ExoMars mission. Streaming starts 08:00 GMT / 10:00 CEST 

ExoMars TGO reaches Mars orbit while EDM situation under assessment - Read more >
Wed, 19 Oct 2016 20:55:00 +0200

The Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) of ESA’s ExoMars 2016 has successfully performed the long 139-minute burn required to be captured by Mars and entered an elliptical orbit around the Red Planet, while contact has not yet been confirmed with the mission’s test lander from the surface.

Signals from Mars - Read more >
Wed, 19 Oct 2016 18:50:00 +0200

The ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter has arrived in Mars orbit. Mission teams are analysing data recorded from the Schiaparelli lander

Hello, Mars - Read more >
Mon, 17 Oct 2016 15:45:00 +0200

Space Science Image of the Week: A recent view of the Red Planet by ESA’s Mars Express workhorse, soon to be joined by ExoMars

Realtime Mars descent - Read more >
Mon, 17 Oct 2016 14:30:00 +0200

Follow alongside Schiaparelli’s six-minute descent to the surface of Mars with this realtime animation

Hubble Reveals Observable Universe Contains 10 Times More Galaxies Than Previously Thought
Thu, 13 Oct 2016 10:00:00 -0400Hubble Image

In Arthur C. Clarke's novel "2001: A Space Odyssey," astronaut David Bowman exclaims, "My God, it's full of stars!" before he gets pulled into an alien-built wormhole in space. When the Hubble Space Telescope made its deepest views of the universe, astronomers might have well exclaimed: "My God, it's full of galaxies!" The Hubble Ultra Deep Field, for example, revealed 10,000 galaxies of various shapes, sizes, colors, and ages, all within an area roughly one-tenth the diameter of the full moon. What's mind-blowing is that these myriad galaxies, though plentiful, may represent merely 10 percent of the universe's total galaxy population. That's according to estimates from a new study of Hubble's deep-field surveys. The study's authors came to the staggering conclusion that at least 10 times more galaxies exist in the observable universe than astronomers thought.

Buried glaciers on Mars - Read more >
Thu, 13 Oct 2016 11:00:00 +0200

This jumble of eroded blocks lies along the distinctive boundary between the Red Planet’s southern highlands and the northern lowlands, with remnants of ancient glaciers flowing around them.

What to expect from Schiaparelli’s camera - Read more >
Wed, 12 Oct 2016 11:00:00 +0200

As the ExoMars Schiaparelli module descends onto Mars on 19 October it will capture 15 images of the approaching surface. Scientists have simulated the view we can expect to see from the descent camera.

Call for media: ExoMars arrives at the Red Planet - Read more >
Fri, 07 Oct 2016 11:00:00 +0200

The ExoMars 2016 mission will enter orbit around the Red Planet on 19 October. At the same time, its Schiaparelli lander will descend to the surface. Representatives of traditional and social media are invited to attend a two-day event at ESA’s ESOC control centre in Darmstadt, Germany.

Hubble Detects Giant 'Cannonballs' Shooting from Star
Thu, 06 Oct 2016 13:00:00 -0400Hubble Image

Great balls of fire! The Hubble Space Telescope has detected superhot blobs of gas, each twice as massive as the planet Mars, being ejected near a dying star. The plasma balls are zooming so fast through space that they would travel from Earth to the moon in 30 minutes. This stellar "cannon fire" has continued once every 8.5 years for at least the past 400 years, astronomers estimate. The fireballs present a puzzle to astronomers because the ejected material could not have been shot out by the host star, called V Hydrae. The star is a bloated red giant, residing 1,200 light-years away, which has probably shed at least half of its mass into space during its death throes.

Mission complete: Rosetta’s journey ends in daring descent to comet - Read more >
Fri, 30 Sep 2016 13:30:00 +0200

ESA’s historic Rosetta mission has concluded as planned, with the controlled impact onto the comet it had been investigating for more than two years. 

How to follow Rosetta’s grand finale - Read more >
Wed, 28 Sep 2016 14:30:00 +0200

Rosetta is set to complete its historic mission in a controlled descent to the surface of its comet on 30 September, with the end of mission confirmation predicted to be within 20 minutes of 11:20 GMT (13:20 CEST).

NASA's Hubble Spots Possible Water Plumes Erupting on Jupiter's Moon Europa
Mon, 26 Sep 2016 14:00:00 -0400Hubble Image

New findings from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope show suspected water plumes erupting from Jupiter's icy moon Europa. These observations bolster earlier Hubble work suggesting that Europa is venting water vapor. A team of astronomers, led by William Sparks of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland, observed these finger-like projections while viewing Europa's limb as the moon passed in front of Jupiter. The team was inspired to use this observing method by studies of atmospheres of planets orbiting other stars.

Summer fireworks on Rosetta’s comet - Read more >
Fri, 23 Sep 2016 10:00:00 +0200

Brief but powerful outbursts seen from Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko during its most active period last year have been traced back to their origins on the surface.

Hubble Finds Planet Orbiting Pair of Stars
Thu, 22 Sep 2016 10:00:00 -0400Hubble Image

Two is company, but three might not always be a crowd, at least in space. When astronomers found an extrasolar planet orbiting a neighboring star, a detailed analysis of the data uncovered a third body. But astronomers couldn't definitively identify whether the object was another planet or another star in the system.

Barry M. Lasker Data Science Fellowship
Fri, 16 Sep 2016 13:00:00 -0400Hubble Image

The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Maryland, announces the initiation of the Barry M. Lasker Data Science Postdoctoral Fellowship. The Lasker Fellowship is a STScI-funded program designed to provide up to three years of support for outstanding postdoctoral researchers conducting innovative astronomical studies that involve the use or creation of one or more of the following: large astronomical databases, massive data processing, data visualization and discovery tools, or machine-learning algorithms. The first recipient of the fellowship is Dr. Gail Zasowski of the Johns Hopkins University (JHU) in Baltimore, Maryland. The fellowship is named in honor of STScI astronomer Barry M. Lasker (1939-1999).

Hubble Takes Close-up Look at Disintegrating Comet
Thu, 15 Sep 2016 13:00:00 -0400Hubble Image

Comet 332P/Ikeya-Murakami survived for 4.5 billion years in the frigid Kuiper Belt, a vast reservoir of icy bodies on the outskirts of our solar system. The objects are the leftovers from our solar system's construction. But within the last few million years, the unlucky comet was gravitationally kicked to the inner solar system by the outer planets. The comet, dubbed 332P, found a new home, settling into an orbit just beyond Mars. But the new home, closer to the sun, has doomed the comet. Sunlight is heating up Comet 332P's surface, causing jets of gas and dust to erupt. The jets act like rocket engines, spinning up the comet's rotation. The faster spin rate loosened chunks of material, which are drifting off the surface and into space.

Gaia’s billion-star map hints at treasures to come - Read more >
Wed, 14 Sep 2016 12:30:00 +0200

The first catalogue of more than a billion stars from ESA’s Gaia satellite was published today – the largest all-sky survey of celestial objects to date.

Watch Gaia first data release media briefing - Read more >
Mon, 12 Sep 2016 10:30:00 +0200

Replay of the media briefing on the first data release from ESA’s Gaia mission on 14 September.

Rosetta’s descent towards region of active pits - Read more >
Fri, 09 Sep 2016 15:00:00 +0200

Squeezing out unique scientific observations until the very end, Rosetta’s thrilling mission will culminate with a descent on 30 September towards a region of active pits on the comet’s ‘head’.

Dr. Nancy A. Levenson Appointed Deputy Director of the Space Telescope Science Institute
Thu, 08 Sep 2016 13:00:00 -0400Hubble Image

Dr. Nancy A. Levenson has been appointed Deputy Director of the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Maryland. The Institute is the science operations center for the Hubble Space Telescope and the James Webb Telescope (JWST) that is scheduled to launch in 2018.

Hubble Uncovers a Galaxy Pair Coming in from the Wilderness
Thu, 11 Aug 2016 13:00:00 -0400Hubble Image

The galaxies in the early universe were much smaller than our Milky Way and churned out stars at a rapid pace. They grew larger through mergers with other dwarf galaxies to eventually build the magnificent spiral and elliptical galaxies we see around us today. But astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope have looked at two small galaxies that were left off the star party list. For many billions of years Pisces A and Pisces B lived in a vast intergalactic wilderness that was devoid of gas, which fuels star formation. They got left out in the cold.

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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