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.

2001 April 28
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The Moon and All the Crashes
Credit & Copyright: Tolga Topalhan & Serkan Saygan
(Space Camp, Turkey)

Explanation: A clear blue summer sky finally grows dark and the new telescope, hastily set up in the backyard, generates excitment and anticipation. "I bought it for the kids.", Dad assures himself as he anxiously supervises two young boys' efforts to center a bright, first quarter Moon in the finder. The evening's first target acquired, James adjusts the focus knob and falls silent. Suddenly, "Wow, looks just like on Apollo 13!". His younger brother Christopher takes his turn. "Do you see the Moon?", James asks, eager to provide guidance based on his own observing experience. Christopher echoes his brother's enthusiasm, "Yes, and I see all the crashes too!". The view they shared was not too different from this image of the seven day old moon, recorded in July 2000 by kids and staff during an observing session at Space Camp in Izmir, Turkey. Along the terminator, the line between lunar night and day, the shadows outline to advantage the spectacular craters -- caused by all the crashes.

Tomorrow's picture: Ice Fishing

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
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