The Omega Nebula, a favourite target for amateur astronomers, is one of the most massive star-forming regions in the Milky Way. The SOFIA airborne observatory provides a fresh look in a composite image.
If one could fly to a point directly above the Milky Way, the vista might look something like NGC 986, a face-on barred spiral in the constellation Fornax that is often overlooked due to is proximity to the Fornax galaxy cluster.
NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope captures stunning infrared views of the cosmos, including repeated observations of the vast Perseus Molecular cloud where star clusters defy models with closely packed multi-generational suns.
Two interacting galaxies, distorted in an ongoing gravitational tug of war, present a captivating vista as observed by the Gemini North telescope in Hawaii, taking on the shape of a graceful heron in the northern sky.
Spiral galaxies oriented face on to Earth offer spectacular views while giving astronomers a better chance to monitor the frequency of supernova blasts. A prime example is a galaxy known as NGC 5468 where at least five stellar explosions have been spotted.
A favourite target for amateur and professional astronomers alike, the Orion Nebula is once again gracing the autumn-winter skies in the Northern Hemisphere. It is just as glorious in the infrared, as seen by the Very Large Telescope and the HAWK-I camera.
NASA’s Juno spacecraft captured a jaw-dropping down-the-throat view of a huge storm swirling in Jupiter’s turbulent atmosphere earlier this month, a 2,000-kilometre-wide cyclonic system in the giant planet’s northern hemisphere.
Globular clusters offer stunning starscapes for amateur astronomers, but the Hubble Space Telescope takes it to another level as seen in this jaw-dropping image of Messier 2 some 55,000 light years from Earth.