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.

2013 August 18
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download
 the highest resolution version available.

Skylab Over Earth
Image Credit: Skylab, NASA

Explanation: Skylab was an orbiting laboratory launched by a Saturn V rocket in May 1973. Skylab, pictured above, was visited three times by NASA astronauts who sometimes stayed as long as two and a half months. Many scientific tests were performed on Skylab, including astronomical observations in ultraviolet and X-ray light. Some of these observations yielded valuable information about Comet Kohoutek, our Sun and about the mysterious X-ray background - radiation that comes from all over the sky. Skylab fell back to earth on 1979 July 11.

Highlights of the 2013 Perseids Meteor Shower
Tomorrow's picture: noctilucent aurora

< | Archive | Index | Search | Calendar | RSS | Education | About APOD | Discuss | >

Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
NASA Official: Phillip Newman Specific rights apply.
NASA Web Privacy Policy and Important Notices
A service of: ASD at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.