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 October 30
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Crescent Venus and Moon
Credit & Copyright: Iván Éder

Explanation: There's something behind these clouds. Those faint graceful arcs, upon inspection, are actually far, far in the distance. They are the Earth's Moon and the planet Venus. Both the Moon and Venus are bright enough to be seen during the day, and both are quite capable of showing a crescent phase. To see Venus, which appears quite small, in a crescent phase requires binoculars or a telescope. In the above dramatic daytime image taken from Budapest, Hungary, the Moon and Venus shared a similar crescent phase a few minutes before the Moon eclipsed the larger but more distant world. About an hour later, Venus reappeared.

Tomorrow's picture: spooky sky

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