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 September 10
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download
 the highest resolution version available.

Venus Beyond the Storm
Credit & Copyright: Lyndon Anderson (

Explanation: A thunderstorm, lightning, a bright star and a bright planet all graced an evening sky for a short while near Bismarck, North Dakota, USA two weeks ago. Thick thunderclouds from a passing storm are the origin of a strong cloud to ground lightning strike. Small areas of rain darken portions of the orange sunset, visible at the horizon above the vast prairie. The planet Venus peeks below the clouds on the lower left of the image. Blue sky shines high above the distant storm, streaked with high white cirrus clouds. The bright star Arcturus glitters near the image top, just left of center. Just a few minutes later, only a memory and this picture remained.

Tomorrow's picture: Planets vs. Stars

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
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