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 November 12
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Kenya Morning Moon, Planets, and Taurid
Image Credit & Copyright: Babak Tafreshi (TWAN)

Explanation: On November 8, a waning crescent Moon joined the continuing parade of planets in Earth's early morning skies. Captured here from Amboseli National Park, Kenya, even the overexposed moonlight can't washout brilliant Venus though, lined up near the ecliptic plane with faint Mars and bright Jupiter above. As if Moon and planets aren't enough, a comparably bright Taurid meteor also streaks through the scene. In fact November's Taurid meteor showers have had a high proportion of bright fireballs. Apparently streaming from radiants in Taurus, the meteors are caused by our fair planet's annual passage through debris from Comet 2P/Encke. The comet's dust grains are catching up with Earth's atmosphere at a relatively low speed of about 27 kilometers per second.

Tomorrow's picture: tadpoles in space

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