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 August 16
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Moonless Perseid Sky
Credit & Copyright: John Chumack

Explanation: Last weekend, dark, moonless night skies brought many sightings of Perseid meteors to skygazers all over planet Earth. Early Sunday morning astronomer John Chumack's camera captured this Perseid meteor streak with a flare near the end of its track over Yellow Springs, Ohio. The single, four minute long exposure looks toward the constellation of Taurus and the eastern horizon. The meteor streak points back to the annual meteor shower's radiant in Perseus off the upper left corner of the picture. Of course, the view includes the well-known Pleiades Star cluster (near top center) with a bright yellowish planet Mars below it. Also seen with a yellowish tint but not quite as bright as Mars, the giant star Aldebaran anchors the V-shaped Hyades star cluster left of center, above the trees.

Tomorrow's picture: the tale of a wonderful star

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