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 8, 1998
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Nabta: Older than Stonehenge
Credit: J. M. Malville (U. Colorado) & F. Wendorf (SMU) et al.

Explanation: In the Sahara Desert in Egypt lie the oldest known astronomically aligned stones in the world: Nabta. Over one thousand years before the creation of Stonehenge, local herders built a stone circle and other structures on the shoreline of a lake that has long since dried up. Over 6000 years ago, stone slabs three meters high were dragged over a kilometer to create the site. Shown above is one of the stones that remains. Little is known about the ultimate purpose of Nabta and the nature of the people who built it.

Tomorrow's picture: Quasar in an Elliptical Galaxy

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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.