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 August 19
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download
 the highest resolution version available.

Roque de los Muchachos Observatory
Credit: Nik Szymanek (ING), IAC, ENO

Explanation: Above the clouds, atop an island off the coast of Africa, a group of cutting-edge telescopes inspects the universe. Pictured above are telescopes at Roque de los Muchachos Observatory on La Palma, one of the Canary Islands, Spain. The site is one of the premier observing locations on Earth. The telescopes pictured are, from left to right, the Carlsberg Meridian Telescope, the 4.2-meter William Herschel Telescope, the Dutch Open Telescope, the Swedish Solar Tower, the 2.5-meter Isaac Newton Telescope, and the 1.0-meter Jacobus Kapteyn Telescope. Pioneering observations made recently by these telescopes include stars and galaxies forming early in our universe, comets breaking up, and evidence for planets around Sun-like stars.

Tomorrow's picture: Normal Matters

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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.