The last 3 weeks of Astronomy Pix of the Day have produced a bumper crop of fascinating images. Let's start with our nearest neighbours, the planets of our own solar system. (Click the links in the descriptions to go to the original APOD pages for more details and links to other great stuff.)
Here's Saturn's rings acting like a gigantic sundial.
Next we have the southern polar ice cap of Mars as it starts to melt in the Martian spring, just like our Earth's polar caps...except this is frozen carbon dioxide instead of water. (This is now my current desktop wallpaper!)
Then we have Messenger's first solar day circling Mercury. While our solar day is 24 hours, Mercury's is 176 days. (Follow the links in the article to see some other fantastic pictures coming back from Messenger. I'm finding them just as good as those coming from Opportunity on Mars.)
For those folks who prefer their Pretties to be a little further afield, here's NGC 7635, the Bubble Nebula, with some lovely false colours added.
This spiral galaxy looks peaceful and serene, except for the blinding violence of the supernova going off right next door.
The Pleiades star cluster is very pretty, and actually one of the more visible sights in the night time sky.
If you're tastes are decidedly terrestrial, maybe this photo of the Aurora Borealis will appeal. (This was taken relatively close to where I grew up. :)
...or maybe this one instead.
Lastly, ever wondered what it would be like to fly over the Earth? Thanks to the magic of the ISS and YouTube, you can experience it for yourself.
Phew! That was quite a journey. I think I'll stop and rest while I enjoy the sunrise over the River Plate in Argentina.