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 October 20
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Three Galaxies and a Comet
Image Credit & Copyright: Miloslav Druckmuller (Brno University of Technology)

Explanation: Diffuse starlight and dark nebulae along the southern Milky Way arc over the horizon and sprawl diagonally through this gorgeous nightscape. The breath-taking mosaic spans a wide 100 degrees, with the rugged terrain of the Patagonia, Argentina region in the foreground. Along with the insider's view of our own galaxy, the image features our outside perspective on two irregular satellite galaxies - the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds. The scene also captures the broad tail and bright coma of Comet McNaught, the Great Comet of 2007. Currently, many sky enthusiasts are following the development of Comet ISON, a comet which might become the Great Comet of 2013.

Tomorrow's picture: saturn below

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