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 April 2
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download
 the highest resolution version available.

Serene Paraselene
Image Credit & Copyright: Tamas Ladanyi (TWAN)

Explanation: Nestled in the Austrian Alps, frozen Lake Ossiach stretches across the foreground of this serene view. Recorded on March 1, the night sky includes a nearly full Moon and bright planet Saturn seen through thin clouds near picture center. It also includes a remarkably bright and colorful moondog or paraselene at the left. Analogous to a sundog or parhelion, the paraselene is produced by moonlight shining through thin, hexagonal-shaped ice crystals in high cirrus clouds. As determined by the ice crystal geometry, the Moon is 22 degrees from the lovely paraselene.

Tomorrow's picture: beyond

< | 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.