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 December 6
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Lunar Diamond
Credit & Copyright: Deirdre Kelleghan

Explanation: Cameras around the globe pointed skyward this week to capture the spectacular conjunction of a crescent Moon and bright planets Venus and Jupiter. But astronomer-artist Deirdre Kelleghan recorded her observations in sketches of the celestial event. From Greystones, County Wicklow, Ireland, her small telescope allowed her to follow the accompanying lunar occultation as a brilliant Venus disappeared behind the Moon's dark edge, then reappeared along the bright lunar limb. Her lovely drawing of the reemergence of Venus was made with pastels and conte crayons on A3 size paper under very cold conditions. She remarks, "The view as Venus once again sparkled like a diamond stuck on the moon was stunning."

Tomorrow's picture: lunar halo

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