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 December 10
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download
 the highest resolution version available.

A Twilight Occultation
Image Credit & Copyright: Doug Zubenel (TWAN)

Explanation: A thin, one day old crescent Moon hugged the western horizon after sunset on Monday, December 6. The Moon also occulted or passed in front of Mars. But only some well-placed skygazers along a band through North America were able to catch this lunar occultation's final act in fading twilight. For example, this telephoto image nicely captures Mars as a pinprick of light, shortly after it emerged from behind the crescent Moon's sunlit edge. With a tangle of tree limbs in silhouette, the luminous skyview is from De Soto, Kansas in the central US. Of course, this month's upcoming total lunar eclipse will entertain a much wider audience of Moon enthusiasts during the night of December 20/21.

Call for Security Camera Videos: Recent Fireball over the United Kingdom
Tomorrow's picture: meteor shower

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