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.

2009 April 4
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download
 the highest resolution version available.

Star Party on Planet Earth
Image Credit & Copyright: Babak Tafreshi (TWAN)

Explanation: As twilight sweeps around planet Earth tonight (April 4), many amateur astronomers will set up their telescopes for a 24-hour global star party. The planetwide star party is part of 100 Hours of Astronomy (100HA), a project of the International Year of Astronomy 2009. To join the party, members of the public can find a nearby organized event or planned webcast by consulting the schedules on the 100HA website. What could you see through a telescope tonight? For starters, a bright Moon will shine in the evening sky, offering telescopic observers spectacular views of impact craters, mountains, and lava-flooded mare. Tonight's other celestial targets include the crowd pleasing planet Saturn surrounded by its own moons, its rings tilted nearly edge-on.

Tomorrow's picture: Sun Day

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