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 12
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Lick Observatory Moonrise
Credit & Copyright: Rick Baldridge

Explanation: As viewed from a well chosen location at sunset, October's gorgeous Full Moon rose behind Mount Hamilton, east of San Jose, California. Captured in this lovely telescopic view, historic Lick Observatory is perched on the mountain's 4,200 foot summit, observatory and rising Moon momentarily sharing the warm color of filtered sunlight. Of course, tonight those blessed with clear skies can also enjoy a glorious Full Moon. In fact, tonight's Moon reaches its full phase at 1637 UT, within only a few hours of perigee, the closest point in its elliptical orbit. The close approach really will make December's Full Moon the largest Full Moon of 2008, even when it rises high above the horizon.

Tomorrow's picture: Mt. Wilson 60-inch

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