Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2000 January 13
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download 
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A Skygazer's Full Moon
Credit & Copyright: Robert Gendler

Explanation: This dramatically sharp picture of the full moon was recorded on 22 December, 1999 by astroimager Rob Gendler. Big, beautiful, bright, and evocative, it was the last full moon of the Y1.9Ks, pleasing and inspiring even casual skygazers. December's moon was special for another reason, as the full phase occurred on the day of the winter solstice and within hours of lunar perigee. The first full moon of the year 2000 will bring a special treat as well, presenting denizens of planet Earth with a total lunar eclipse. On Thursday evening, January 20, the moon will encounter the dark edge of Earth's shadow at 10:01 PM Eastern Time with the total eclipse phase beginning at 11:05 PM and lasting for 77 minutes. This lunar eclipse will be visible from North and South America and Western Europe (total phase begins at 4:05 AM GMT January 21).

Tomorrow's picture: Hard X-Ray Background Resolved

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.