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.

2010 February 6
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Hong Kong Sky
Credit & Copyright: Peter Lau

Explanation: This remarkable scene combines multiple exposures recorded on the evening of January 18th from a waterside perspective in Hong Kong, China. It follows a young crescent Moon, with brilliant planet Jupiter to its left, as they set together in the western sky. Their two luminous trails are faintly paralleled by trails of background stars. But easier to pick out are the short, bright airplane trails converging toward the horizon and the Hong Kong International Airport that seem to offer a frenzied imitation of the celestial tracks. Of course, the reflection of city lights and boat traffic follows the water's surface. Streaking car lights define the span of the cable-stayed Ting Kau bridge.

Tomorrow's picture: gravity's lens

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