Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day we feature a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

August 13, 1995
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download 
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The Sun Erupts
Credit: NASA, Skylab

Explanation: The sun was captured in 1973 throwing one of the largest eruptive prominences ever recorded. Sol, our sun, is a normal star. It formed about 5 billion years ago, and will last about another 5 billion years. The sun will never explode, and a solar flare will never destroy the earth. Eventually the sun will become a white dwarf star. The sun is made of mostly hydrogen and helium. The sun's center is so hot that when hydrogen nuclei collide, they stick together and release energy - a process called nuclear fusion No one knows why the center of the sun emits so few neutrinos.

Tomorrow's picture: Mercury: Closest Planet to the Sun

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Astronomy Picture of the Day (TM) is created and copyrighted in 1995 by Robert Nemiroff and Jerry Bonnell who are solely responsible for its content.

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