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.

2016 March 5
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download
 the highest resolution version available.

Cities at Night
Image Credit: NASA, Scott Kelly

Explanation: Looking toward the south from an altitude of 400 kilometers, this stunning snapshot from orbit finds bright lights of Tokyo and cities across central and southern Japan, planet Earth shining upward through broken clouds. The spacefaring perspective was captured last July by astronaut Scott Kelly during his stay on board the International Space Station. Thin stripes of airglow follow the curve of the planet's dark limb, while beyond lie stars of the constellation Centaurus and the southern sky. Their solar panels extended, a docked Soyuz (bottom) and Progress spacecraft are posed in the foreground. Kelly returned to planet Earth this week after his one-year mission in space.

Tomorrow's picture: sun burst

< | Archive | Submissions | 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.