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 May 14
See Explanation.
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Iguaçu Starry Night
Image Credit & Copyright: Babak Tafreshi (TWAN)

Explanation: The arc of the southern Milky Way shone brightly on this starry night. Captured on May 4, in the foreground of this gorgeous skyview is the rainforest near the spectacular Iguaçu Falls and national park at the border of Brazil and Argentina. Looking skyward along the Milky Way's arc from the left are Alpha and Beta Centauri, the Coalsack, the Southern Cross, and the Carina Nebula. Sirius, brightest star in planet Earth's night sky is at the far right. Brilliant Canopus, second brightest star in the night, and our neighboring galaxies the Large and Small Magellanic clouds, are also included in the scene. For help finding them, just slide your cursor over the image. Much closer to home, lights near the center along the horizon are from Argentina's Iguazú Falls International Airport.

Tomorrow's picture: pixels in space

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