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.

2005 August 15
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download
 the highest resolution version available.

Perseid Meteors and the Milky Way
Credit & Copyright: Stefan Seip

Explanation: Where will the next Perseid meteor appear? Sky enthusiasts who trekked outside for the Perseid meteor shower that peaked over the past few days typically had this question on their mind. The above movie, where the time-line has been digitally altered, captures part of that very mystery. Eight meteors from the night of August 12 and the morning of August 13 have been identified in the movie so far, seven of which are Perseids. Can you identify the non-Perseid meteor? Since all Perseid meteors appear to come from the constellation of Perseus, the non-Perseid meteor is the one that streaks in a different direction. Early reports are that this year's Perseids were unfortunately a bit disappointing. The above digital mosaic was taken from Alsace, France, with the photogenic band of our Milky Way Galaxy far in the background.

Tomorrow's picture: city of the sky

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