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.

2006 June 10
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download
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Moon Over Haleakala
Credit & Copyright: Rob Ratkowski

Explanation: A waxing crescent Moon shines over the caldera of dormant volcano Haleakala and observatory domes in this dramatic view from above the clouds. Looking west from Maui, Hawaii on May 31st, the scene also records the lights of Honolulu on the horizon. Near the strongly overexposed crescent is bright planet Saturn, but included in the skyscape are planet Mars and the Gemini stars Castor and Pollux. Of course, skywatchers also found star cluster M44, The Beehive Cluster, in this early evening sky, wedged between Saturn and the Moon. In fact, as it closes with Saturn, Mars will pass in front of the Beehive on June 15, so just keep looking west. (Can't find all the players? Click here for help.)

Tomorrow's picture: Sunday's child

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