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Astronomy Picture of the Day
  • Pluto at Night 
Image Credit: NASA, Johns Hopkins Univ./APL, Southwest Research Institute 
Explanation: The night side of Pluto spans this shadowy scene, a stunning spacebased view with the Sun 4.9 billion kilometers (almost 4.5 light-hours) behind the dim and distant world. It was captured by far flung New Horizons in July of 2015. The spacecraft was at a range of some 21,000 kilometers from Pluto, about 19 minutes after its closest approach. A denizen of the Kuiper Belt in dramatic silhouette, the image also reveals Pluto's tenuous, surprisingly complex layers of hazy atmosphere. The crescent twilight landscape near the top of the frame includes southern areas of nitrogen ice plains now formally known as Sputnik Planitia and rugged mountains of water-ice in the Norgay Montes.
This Day in History
  • President Harding publicly condemns lynching
    On October 21, 1921, President Warren G. Harding delivers a speech in Alabama in which he condemns lynchings—illegal hangings committed primarily by white supremacists against African Americans in the Deep South. Although his administration was much maligned for scandal and corruption, Harding was ...Continue reading
  • Battle of Trafalgar
    In one of the most decisive naval battles in history, a British fleet under Admiral Lord Nelson defeats a combined French and Spanish fleet at the Battle of Trafalgar, fought off the coast of Spain. At sea, Lord Nelson and the Royal Navy consistently thwarted Napoleon Bonaparte, who led France to ...Continue reading
  • Guggenheim Museum opens in New York City
    On October 21, 1959, on New York City’s Fifth Avenue, thousands of people line up outside a bizarrely shaped white concrete building that resembled a giant upside-down cupcake. It was opening day at the new Guggenheim Museum, home to one of the world’s top collections of contemporary art. Mining ...Continue reading