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 September 7
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download
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Jupiter Over the Mediterranean
Credit & Copyright: Tunç Tezel (TWAN)

Explanation: This vacation included a sight to remember. Pictured above, a picturesque starscape capped a serene seascape as seen from Turkey this past August. In the above digitally stitched panorama, the Gelidonya Lighthouse shines in the foreground before a calm Mediterranean Sea. On the left, Jupiter is the brightest point in the image and since on the same side of the Sun as the Earth, was near its yearly brightest. Glowing just shy of magnitude -3, Jupiter was brighter than any star in the sky, and brighter even than Mars was during its famously bright opposition of 2003 August. On the right, the band of the Milky Way Galaxy fades into distant atmospheric haze above the horizon. Jupiter is nearing the closest part of its elliptical orbit to the Sun and so will appear even brighter during its next opposition in 2010 September.

Tomorrow's picture: Jupiter dark

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