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 December 5
See Explanation.
Moving the cursor over the image will bring up an annotated version.
Clicking on the image will bring up the highest resolution version

Himalayan Skyscape
Credit & Copyright: Babak Tafreshi (TWAN)

Explanation: Capella, alpha star of the constellation Auriga, rises over Mt. Everest in this panoramic view of the top of the world at night. The scene was recorded in late November near Namche Bazar, Nepal, gateway to the Himalayan mountain range. Moonlight illuminates the famous peaks of Everest (8840 meters) and Lhotse (8516 meters) at the far left, and a stupa (a Buddhist religious monument) in the foreground, along the main trail to the Everest Base Camp. The light in the valley is from the Tengboche Monastery, also along the trail at about 4000 meters. From left to right above the moonlit peaks, the stars of Auriga give way to bright giant star Aldebaran eye of the Taurus the Bull, the Pleiades star cluster, alpha Ceti, and finally alpha Phoenicis of the Phoenix. Peaks and stars can be identified by placing your cursor over the image.

Tomorrow's picture: flowing tail

< | 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.