Astronomy Picture of the Day

The sky is filled with breathtaking pictures, many of which are available on the World Wide Web. Each day we feature a different picture of some part of our fascinating universe, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

Today's Picture:
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If the Earth could somehow be transformed to the ultra-high density of a neutron star , it might appear as it does in the above computer generated figure. Due to the very strong gravitational field, the neutron star distorts light from the background sky greatly. If you look closely, two images of the constellation Orion are visible. The gravity of this particular neutron star is so great that no part of the neutron star is blocked from view - light is pulled around by gravity even from the back of the neutron star.

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Astronomy Picture of the Day is brought to you by Robert Nemiroff and Jerry Bonnell . Original material on this page is copyrighted to Robert Nemiroff and Jerry Bonnell.