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.

2011 July 16
See Explanation.
Moving the cursor over the image will bring up an annotated version.
Clicking on the image will bring up the highest resolution version

Starry Night over Dubai
Image Credit & Copyright: Babak Tafreshi (TWAN)

Explanation: A starry night over the city of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates is really not so starry. In fact, the Moon is the only celestial beacon to come close to competing with city lights in this night skyscape, a situation all too familiar to urban skygazers. The futuristic looking scene is dominated by the 800 meter tall Khalifa Tower, presently the tallest free standing structure on planet Earth. But for now you should also be able to make out a few of the very brightest stars in Earth's night sky. Capella is left of the tower and Aldebaran, Betelgeuse, Rigel, and stars in Orion's Belt can just be identified in the heavily light-polluted skies. Need some help finding them? Slide your cursor over the image.

Tomorrow's picture: Lewin's Challenge

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