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.

2008 March 15
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Moon over Byzantium
Credit & Copyright: Tunç Tezel (TWAN)

Explanation: Hiding near the Sun, a slender crescent Moon is a difficult but rewarding sight. Look to the right (scroll right) and you can spot one in this twilight panorama across the Bosporus Strait and along the skyline of the historic city of Istanbul. Recorded on March 8, the Moon is a mere 22 hours young. A thin, curved edge of the Moon's illuminated surface is just visible poised in the western sky at sunset above the walls of Topkapi Palace. The palace was built in the reign of Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II, the 15th century conquerer of the city that was then Constantinople, capital of the Byzantine Empire. The well-lit domed building immediately to the left of the palace is Ayasofya (Hagia Sophia), a famous example of Byzantine architecture, now a museum. Still farther to the left is the Sultan Ahmed Mosque

Tomorrow's picture: above the clouds

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