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.

2009 June 15
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Streaming Dark Nebulas near B44
Credit & Copyright: Thomas V. Davis (

Explanation: Dark dust lit by the bright yellow star Antares highlight this photogenic starscape of the southern sky. A wider angle image shows the central band of our Milky Way Galaxy connected to Antares by streams of dust knows as the Dark River. At the head of the Dark River the dust appears in dense knots. One of the densest knots is B44, pictured near the bottom of the above image. Off to the left of the above image lies Antares, a star so bright that the pictured dust reflects its light, giving it a distinct yellow hue. Light from the blue star on the image left creates a surrounding blue reflection nebula named IC 4605. B44 and IC 4605 lies about 500 light years distant toward the constellation of the Scorpion.

Tomorrow's picture: turkish moonrise

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