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.

2003 May 23
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download
 the highest resolution version available.

Eclipsed Moon and Stars
Credit & Copyright: Jay Ouellet

Explanation: Half-shadowed by the Earth, the Moon takes on a remarkable appearance against a field of stars in this intriguing telephoto picture recorded during a partial phase of last week's lunar eclipse. The picture is not a composite, but it has been digitally enhanced to bring out features covering a large range in brightness. On the Moon itself, surface details are visible in both the bright uneclipsed portion in direct sunlight, and the very much dimmer copper-colored, eclipsed region. Also much fainter than the Moon's sunlit surface, the background star field, along with the unusual lighting, seems to contribute to an eerie "3D" perception of the lunar orb. Canadian astrophotographer Jay Ouellet took the picture from l'Observatoire de la Decouverte in Val Belair, a suburb of Quebec City, where about 200 skygazers gathered to enjoy the celestial exposition.

Tomorrow's picture: weekend spiral

< | Archive | Index | Search | Calendar | Glossary | Education | About APOD | >

Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Web Site Statements, Warnings, and Disclaimers
NASA Official: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.