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 August 18
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Crescent Moon and Planets Over Portugal
Credit & Copyright: Miguel Claro

Explanation: Sometimes, it's fun to share the sky. Although it might appear that the two sky enthusiasts on the ridge are sharing only a crescent moon between them, three bright planets also stand before them. The brightest point in the sky is the planet Venus, while reddish Mars floats above it, and Saturn shines off to its right. In the foreground are picturesque clumps of sand of the beach at Costa da Caparica, before the reflecting waters of the Atlantic Ocean. The evening picked to planet gaze was a particularly good one as the Perseids meteor shower was also reaching its peak. Fortunately, this evening sky was not unique to Almada, Portugal last Thursday, but visible to sky enthusiasts the world over last week. These planets will all remain visible at sunset this week, although Venus will sink to the horizon as it closes in on the setting Sun.

Tomorrow's picture: skyview

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