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Astronomy Picture of the Day: Aurora Shimmer, Meteor Flash

Some night skies are serene and passive -- others shimmer and flash. The later, in the form of auroras and meteors, haunted skies over the island of Kvaløya, near Tromsø Norway on 2009 December 13.

Astronomy Picture of the Day: Tiny Planet Timelapse

You can pack a lot of sky watching into 30 seconds on this tiny planet. Of course, the full spherical image timelapse video was recorded on planet Earth, from Grande Pines Observatory outside Pinehurst, North Carolina.

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: Cetus Galaxies and Supernova

Large spiral galaxy NGC 1055 at top left joins spiral Messier 77 (bottom right) in this cosmic view toward the aquatic constellation Cetus.

Astronomy Picture of the Day: Highlights of the North Winter Sky

What can you see in the night sky this season? The featured graphic gives a few highlights for Earth's northern hemisphere.

Astronomy Picture of the Day: The Fairy of Eagle Nebula

The dust sculptures of the Eagle Nebula are evaporating. As powerful starlight whittles away these cool cosmic mountains, the statuesque pillars that remain might be imagined as mythical beasts.

Astronomy Picture of the Day: Mount Everest Star Trails

The highest peak on planet Earth is framed in this mountain and night skyscape.

Astronomy Picture of the Day: A Cold River to Orion

Ice is forming on the river Lielupe as it flows through the landscape in this winter's night scene.

Astronomy Picture of the Day: Across Corona Australis

Cosmic dust clouds are draped across a rich field of stars in this broad telescopic panorama near the northern boundary of Corona Australis, the Southern Crown.

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

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

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