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.

July 28, 1997
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download 
 the highest resolution version available.

Help Aldebaran Map the Moon
Credit and Copyright: F. B. Catala

Explanation: Turn on your camcorder, go outside, and become an astronomer. How?. Tomorrow morning, our Moon will pass directly in front of Aldebaran, the brightest star in this picture and in entire constellation of Taurus. Aldebaran is visible to the left and below Comet Hale-Bopp in the above photograph, which was taken on April 30th in Tenerife, Spain. This occultation is valuable because disappearance times from different locations can be used to map the height of the lunar terrain at the occultation points. You can help by clicking here, where a site will detail how to tape a familiar cable channel and then take your still-running camcorder outside to tape the occultation of Aldebaran by the Moon. You can then donate your VCR tape to science by mailing it to this address. Leave yourself plenty of time for a practice run and be sure to check the weather before going to a lot of trouble!

Tomorrow's picture: Strange Rocks on Mars

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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.