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.

2015 October 31
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Ghosts and Star Trails
Image Credit & Copyright: Chris Kotsiopoulos (GreekSky)

Explanation: Don't be scared. Stars won't fall from the sky and ghosts won't really haunt your neighborhood tonight. But it looks like they might be doing just that in this eerie picture of an eccentric old abandoned house in moonlight. A treat for the eye the image is a trick of stacked multiple exposures, 60 frames exposed for 25 seconds each. While the digital frames were recorded with a camera fixed to a tripod, stars traced concentric arcs about the north celestial pole. But that's only a reflection of planet Earth's rotation on its axis. Conveniently marked by bright star Polaris, the pole could be positioned above the peaks of the deserted dwelling. Wrapped in a blanket to stay warm, the photographer's own movements during the exposures were blended into the ghostly apparitions. Of course, the grinning Jack-o-Lantern is there to wish you a safe and Happy Halloween!

Tomorrow's picture: monumental APOD

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