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 September 12
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download
 the highest resolution version available.

Planets over Perth
Credit & Copyright: John Goldsmith, Celestial Visions exhibition, TWAN

Explanation: A bright trio of terrestrial planets was joined by a young Moon on September 1st, in planet Earth's early evening skies. In this view of the celestial gathering from Perth, Western Australia, the Moon's sunlit crescent is nearly horizontal at Perth's southern latitude of about 32 degrees. Venus, then Mercury, and finally Mars shine above colorful city lights on the far shore of the Swan River. The six unlit towers on the left surround a large cricket stadium. For now, the planetary trio still lingers low in the west just after sunset. But in the coming days Venus will move farther from the Sun, climbing higher after sunset, while Mercury and Mars will steadily sink into the glare along the western horizon.

Note: Free Astronomy Course Taught Online by an APOD Editor

Tomorrow's picture: Triangulum Galaxy

< | Archive | Index | Search | Calendar | RSS | Education | About APOD | Discuss | >

Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
NASA Official: Phillip Newman Specific rights apply.
NASA Web Privacy Policy and Important Notices
A service of: ASD at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.