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.

December 26, 1996
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 the highest resolution version available.

Carl Sagan 1934-1996
Credit and Copyright: 1994 by Michael Okoniewski

Explanation: Carl Sagan died last Friday at the age of 62. Sagan was the world's most famous astronomer. Among his many activities as a scientist, he contributed to the discovery that the atmosphere of Venus is prohibitively hot and dense, and found evidence that Saturn's moon Titan contains oceans stocked with the building blocks of life. Sagan was an outspoken proponent of the search for extra-terrestrial life, including sending probes to other planets and listening with large radio telescopes for signals from intelligent aliens. Sagan's outstanding ability to explain allowed almost a billion people to better understand the cosmos in which they live.

Tomorrow's picture: HET: The New Largest Optical Telescope

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