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 May 29
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download 
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Sentinels of the Arctic
Image Credit & Copyright: Niccolò Bonfadini

Explanation: Who guards the north? Judging from the above photograph, possibly giant trees covered in snow and ice. The picture was taken last winter in Finnish Lapland where weather can include sub-freezing temperatures and driving snow. Surreal landscapes sometimes result, where common trees become cloaked in white and so appear, to some, as watchful aliens. Far in the distance, behind this uncommon Earthly vista, is a more common sight -- a Belt of Venus that divided a darkened from sunlit sky as the Sun rose behind the photographer. Of course, in the spring, the trees have thawed and Lapland looks much different.

Astronomy Seminar of the Week: The 2012 Transit of Venus
Tomorrow's picture: spot the earth

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