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 December 2
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download
 the highest resolution version available.

Star Trails at 19,000 Feet
Credit & Copyright: Serge Brunier

Explanation: In myth, Atlas holds up the heavens, but in this stunning view a mountain appears to serve as the southern night sky pivots around a snowy peak. Recorded during a climbing expedition at an altitude above 19,000 feet (temperature -18 degrees C), the picture places the South Celestial Pole over the Andes mountain Ojos del Salado. Topping out at over 22,000 feet, the Ojos del Salado is a stratovolcano, the highest active volcano on planet Earth. The time exposure lasted for an hour, recording the graceful arcing star trails along with the rising Milky Way (left) and setting Magellanic clouds.

Tomorrow's picture: Sunday's child

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

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