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.

2002 April 26
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Comet Ikeya-Zhang Meets The ISS
Credit & Copyright Carol Lakomiak

Explanation: Still catching the Sun's rays, the International Space Station (ISS) cruises across the early evening sky above Tomahawk, Wisconsin, USA. Recorded on April 9 around 9 pm CDT in a 30 second exposure, the sunlit space station traced this bright streak moving east (right) through the constellation Cassiopeia. Below lies Comet Ikeya-Zhang sporting a visible tail. But while this photogenic comet is now fading from view, the ISS will be getting brighter. Hours after this picture was taken, the Space Shuttle Atlantis docked with the ISS, bringing another structure to add to the growing orbital outpost.

Tomorrow's picture: aloha

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