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 17, 1995
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The Space Shuttle Docks with Mir
Credit: NASA, Russian Space Research Institute

Explanation: Hundreds of kilometers above the Earth's surface, the United States Space Shuttle Atlantis docks with the Russian Space Station Mir. The photograph was taken by Nikolai Budarin from a Russian Soyuz spacecraft on July 4, 1995. During this mission astronauts answered questions from school students over amateur radio, and performed life science experiments aboard the SpaceLab. The SpaceLab experiments were designed to understand how the Russian Space program combats the effects on the human body of the long-durations in space.

Tomorrow's picture: M51: The Whirlpool Galaxy

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