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 November 9
See Explanation.
Moving the cursor over the image will bring up an annotated version.
Clicking on the image will bring up the highest resolution version

Skyscape with Comet Holmes
Credit & Copyright: Dave Kodama

Explanation: This gorgeous skyscape spans some 10 degrees across the heroic constellation Perseus, about the size of a generous binocular field of view. The deep exposure includes bright stars, emission nebulae, star clusters, and, of course, the famous Comet Holmes. To identify the celestial landmarks, just place your cursor over the image. The brightest star in view, Alpha Persei, is itself surrounded by a loose cluster of stars - the Alpha Per Moving Cluster - at a distance of about 600 light-years. But, at a distance of a mere 14 light-minutes bright Comet Holmes still dominates the scene with its fluorescing greenish coma and foreshortened blue tail.

Tomorrow's picture: cosmic calamari

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