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Astronomy Picture of the Day: December's Comet Wirtanen

Coming close in mid-December, Comet 46P Wirtanen hangs in this starry sky over the bell tower of a Romanesque church.

Astronomy Picture of the Day: IC 1871: Inside the Soul Nebula

This cosmic close-up looks deep inside the Soul Nebula.

Astronomy Picture of the Day: Swirls and Colors on Jupiter from Juno

What creates the colors in Jupiter's clouds? No one is sure. The thick atmosphere of Jupiter is mostly hydrogen and helium, elements which are colorless at the low temperatures of the Jovian cloud tops.

Astronomy Picture of the Day: Comet 46P/Wirtanen

Periodic Comet 46P/Wirtanen is now the brightest comet in the night sky, but too faint to be seen by eye.

Astronomy Picture of the Day: The Lagoon Nebula is Stars, Gas, and Dust

The majestic Lagoon Nebula is filled with hot gas and the home for many young stars.

Astronomy Picture of the Day: The Old Moon in the Young Moon's Arms

Tonight the Moon is young again, but this stunning image of a young Moon near the western horizon was taken just after sunset on October 10.

Astronomy Picture of the Day: NGC 6188: The Dragons of Ara

Dark shapes with bright edges winging their way through dusty NGC 6188 are tens of light-years long.

Astronomy Picture of the Day: NGC 1499: The California Nebula

There's even a California in space. Drifting through the Orion Arm of the spiral Milky Way Galaxy, this cosmic cloud by chance echoes the outline of California on the west coast of the United States.

Astronomy Picture of the Day: IC 4592: The Blue Horsehead Reflection Nebula

Do you see the horse's head? What you are seeing is not the famous Horsehead nebula toward Orion but rather a fainter nebula that only takes on a familiar form with deeper imaging.

Astronomy Picture of the Day: Barnard 150: Seahorse in Cepheus

Light-years across, this suggestive shape known as the Seahorse Nebula appears in silhouette against a rich, luminous background of stars.

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