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 26
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download 
 the highest resolution version available.

A Lunar Eclipse Over Time
Credit & Copyright: Juan Carlos Casado

Explanation: During last week's lunar eclipse, our Moon appeared to disappear. As the Earth moved between the Moon and the Sun, the Earth's shadow fell on the moon, making it quite dark. In the above photograph, the Earth's rotation caused the Moon and stars to appear as streaks during this four-hour exposure. In the foreground is the abbey of the Benedictive monastery of Sant Llorenc del Munt, a structure in Girona, Spain that has stood since the eleventh century. As the Earth's shadow engulfed the Moon, the Moon streak became less and less bright, practically disappearing during totality. At this time, the Moon, which normally shines by reflecting direct sunlight, shone only by sunlight refracted through the Earth's atmosphere. Later, clouds obscured the re-appearing Moon.

Tomorrow's picture: Spiral In Centaurus

< | Archive | Index | Search | Calendar | Glossary | Education | About APOD | >

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.