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 May 3
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Alborz Mountain Milky Way
Credit & Copyright: Babak Tafreshi (TWAN)

Explanation: Snow-capped stratovolcano Mt. Damavand climbs to 5,670 meters (18,598 feet) near the left edge in this panoramic view of the world at night. In the sky to the left of Damavand's peak are the stars of the Big Dipper in Ursa Major. Pan to the right and your gaze will sweep across the arch of our Milky Way Galaxy above the Alborz Mountain Range bordering the Caspian Sea. Near the center of the panorama, recorded in the predawn hours of April 4th, bright stars Deneb and Altair lie close to the curve of the Milky Way, above the glow of the Haraz valley. Farther right, brilliant Jupiter dominates the sky near the stars, nebulae, and dark dust clouds toward the bulging galactic center. Finally, the horizon glow at the right edge, below bright yellowish giant star Antares, is from the city of Damavand, named for the legendary mountain peak.

Tomorrow's picture: antarctic eclipse

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