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 12, 1998
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download 
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Asteroid Gaspra's Best Face
Credit: The Galileo Project, NASA

Explanation: Asteroid 951 Gaspra is a huge rock tumbling in space. Gaspra became one of the best-studied asteroids in 1991 when the spacecraft Galileo flew by. In the above photograph, subtle color variations have been exaggerated to highlight changes in reflectivity, surface structure and composition. Gaspra is about 20 kilometers long and orbits the Sun in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

Tomorrow's picture: GRB 980703: A Reassuring Redshift

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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.