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 14
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A Cerro Tololo Sky
Credit & Copyright: Roger Smith, AURA, NOAO, NSF

Explanation: High atop a Chilean mountain lies one of the premier observatories of the southern sky: Cerro Tololo. Pictured above is one of the premier telescopes of the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO) and of the past quarter-century: the 4-meter Blanco Telescope. Far behind the telescope are thousands of individual stars and diffuse light from three galaxies: the Small Magellanic Cloud (upper left), the Large Magellanic Cloud (lower left), and our Milky Way Galaxy (right). Visible just to Blanco's right is the famous superposition of four bright stars known as the Southern Cross. The observatory structures are lit solely by starlight.

Tomorrow's picture: Radio Venus

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