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.

November 25, 1997
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download 
 the highest resolution version available.

The Comet and the Galaxy
Credit & Copyright: J. C. Casado

Explanation: The Moon almost ruined this photograph. During late March and early April, Comet Hale-Bopp passed nearly in front of the Andromeda Galaxy. Here the Great Comet of 1997 and the Great Galaxy in Andromeda were photographed together on March 24th. The problem was the brightness of the Moon. The Moon was full that night and so bright that long exposures meant to capture the tails of Hale-Bopp and the disk of M31 would capture instead only moonlight reflected off the Earth's atmosphere. By the time the Moon would set, this opportunity would be gone. That's why this picture was taken during the lunar eclipse.

Tomorrow's picture: Moons, Rings, and Clouds

< 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.