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 May 12
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download 
 the highest resolution version available.

Shuttle Moon
Credit & Copyright: Anthony DeVito

Explanation: As a gorgeous full Moon rose above the eastern horizon on February 7, the Space Shuttle Atlantis streaked skyward towards an orbital rendezvous with the International Space Station. Watching from Orlando, Florida, about 60 miles west of the Kennedy Space Center launch site, photographer Tony DeVito captured this digital image, one of a series of pictures of the shuttle's fiery climb. While foreground street lights flickered on and a clear evening sky grew dark, the shuttle's path just grazed the bright lunar disk. On this mission, STS-98, Atlantis carried the U.S. Destiny laboratory module to be added to the expanding orbital outpost. Atlantis is currently scheduled to return to the space station next month.

Tomorrow's picture: Moon Crater

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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.