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 March 10
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download 
 the highest resolution version available.

Sky and Planets
Credit & Copyright: Steve Sumner

Explanation: On February 10th, an evocative evening sky above Rocklin, California, USA inspired astrophotographer Steve Sumner to record this remarkable sight - five planets and the Moon. Near its first quarter phase, the bright Moon was intentionally overexposed but Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, and Mercury (and, of course, planet Earth's horizon) are all clearly visible in the deepening twilight. Notably absent in this grouping of naked-eye planets is Venus which is still putting in an early appearance as the morning star. This month, Mercury has joined Venus in the dawn twilight while Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars still shine brightly in the western sky at nightfall making another gorgeous close grouping with the crescent Moon.

Tomorrow's picture: Messier Marathon

< | 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.