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.

May 9, 1997
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download 
 the highest resolution version available.

Apollo 12: Self-Portrait
C. Conrad, Apollo 12, NASA

Explanation: Is it art? In November of 1969, Apollo 12 astronaut-photographer Charles "Pete" Conrad recorded this masterpiece while documenting colleague Alan Bean's lunar soil collection activities on the Oceanus Procellarum. The image is dramatic and stark. Bean is faceless - the harsh environment of the Moon's Ocean of Storms is echoed in his helmet's perfectly composed reflection of Conrad and the lunar horizon. Works of photojournalists orginally intent on recording the human condition on planet Earth, such as Lewis W. Hine and Margaret Bourke-White are widely regarded as photographic art. Similarly many documentary astronomy and space images can be appreciated for their artistic and esthetic appeal.

Tomorrow's picture: Home on the Moon

< Archive | Index | Search | Calendar | Glossary | Education | About APOD >

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.