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.

April 21, 1997
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Big Sky Comet
Credit and Copyright:
Dewey Vanderhoff

Explanation: On April 17th, "Big Sky" country sure lived up to its name. The dark skies over the US states of Wyoming, Montana and the Dakotas were quite busy, as shown by this photograph featuring Comet Hale-Bopp. In the foreground is the Absaroka Mountain Range in Wyoming, lit by reflected moonlight. Just to the left of Jim Mountain's peak is Comet Hale-Bopp. The unusual colors visible on the far right are aurora, remnants of the recent solar storm recorded on the Sun. Across the middle of the photo are numerous bright stars, and across the top of the picture are clouds.

Tomorrow's picture: Historic Optical Flash Fades

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
&: Michigan Tech. U.