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.

December 2, 1995
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Lightning Below
Credit: NASA, STS-55 Crew.

Explanation: In May of 1993, the Space Shuttle Columbia orbited the Earth carrying the Spacelab Deutsche 2 (SL-D2) science module and spacelab tunnel seen here riding in the shuttle's payload bay. Below, thunderstorms rage over the cloudy Earth. Several lightning flashes are visible in this high speed photograph as intense bright streaks within the clouds. The lights near the center of the picture, just above the the shuttle's tail, are believed to be Mexico City.

Tomorrow's picture: An X-ray Hot Supernova in M81

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (GMU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA).
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