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 May 2
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download
 the highest resolution version available.

That Night over Half Dome
Image Credit & Copyright: Rogelio Bernal Andreo (Deep Sky Colors)

Explanation: Captured one night last May this eight frame mosaic starts on the left, down Northside Drive through Yosemite National Park. It ends thousands of light-years away though, as the arc of the Milky Way tracks toward the center of our galaxy on the right, far beyond the park's rugged skyline. That night was still moonless when the storm clouds retreated, so the rocky faces of the surrounding mountains are lit by campfires and artificial lights. Yosemite Falls is at the left. The granite face of Half Dome juts above the far horizon, near the center of the view. The remarkable flash above it is a bright meteor. Part of the annual Eta Aquarid meteor shower the colorful streak is moving up, its trail pointing directly back to the shower's radiant, low in Aquarius. This year's Eta Aquarids should peak in the moonless early morning hours of May 6 as the Earth sweeps through dust from the tail of Comet Halley.

Tomorrow's picture: T-Tauri

< | 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.