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.

2014 January 2
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Reflections on Planet Earth
Image Credit: Michael Fossum, STS-121 Mission, NASA

Explanation: Catching sight of your reflection in a store window or shiny hubcap can be entertaining and occasionally even inspire a thoughtful moment. So consider this reflective view from 300 kilometers above planet Earth. The picture is actually a self-portrait taken by astronaut Michael Fossum on July 8, 2006 during a space walk or extravehicular activity while the Discovery orbiter was docked with the International Space Station. Turning his camera to snap a picture of his own helmet visor, he also recorded the reflection of his fellow mission specialist, Piers Sellers, near picture center and one of the space station's gold-tinted solar power arrays arcing across the top. Of course, the horizon of our fair planet lies in background.

Tomorrow's picture: Lovejoy in the New Year

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