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.

2012 March 30
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The Grand Canyon in Moonlight
Image Credit & Copyright: Malcolm Park (North York Astronomical Association)

Explanation: In this alluring night skyscape recorded on March 26, a young Moon stands over the distant western horizon in conjunction with brilliant planet Venus. In the foreground, the Colorado River glistens in moonlight as it winds through the Grand Canyon, seen from the canyon's southern rim at Lipan Point. Of course, the Grand Canyon is known as one of the wonders of planet Earth. Carved by the river, the enormous fissure is about 270 miles (440 kilometers) long, up to 18 miles (30 kilometers) wide and approaches 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) deep. On this date, wonders of the night sky included the compact Pleiades and V-shaped Hyades star clusters poised just above the Moon. Bright planet Jupiter is below the closer Moon/Venus pairing, near the western horizon.

Tomorrow's picture: not quite midnight in Paris

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