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.

2007 January 13
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download
 the highest resolution version available.

Comet Over Krakow
Credit & Copyright: Andrzej Sawow

Explanation: Bright Comet McNaught (C/2006 P1) graced the twilight this week, seen by many and often described with superlatives. Watching the skies over Krakow, Poland, Andrzej Sawow recorded this view on Wednesday - with an ordinary handheld digital camera. He notes that "... astronomy is really for everyone who loves to look at the night sky. And fortunately (sometimes) the sky generously rewards its observer". Now very close to the Sun, Comet McNaught (along with Mercury) is visible in realtime images from the SOHO spacecraft. Otherwise, skywatchers will find the comet hard to see this weekend. But southern hemisphere observers could be rewarded next week as Comet McNaught begins to climb higher in southern skies.

Tomorrow's picture: in the middle

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