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.

2014 October 7
See Explanation.
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From the Temple of the Sun to the Temple of the Moon
Image Credit & Copyright: Dave Lane

Explanation: What connects the Sun to the Moon? Many answers have been given throughout history, but in the case of today's featured image, it appears to be the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy. The 16-image panorama was taken in Capitol Reef National Park, Utah, USA where two sandstone monoliths -- the Temple of the Moon on the right and the Temple of the Sun on the left -- rise dramatically from the desert. Each natural monument stands about 100 meters tall and survives from the Jurassic period 160 million years ago. Even older are many of the stars and nebulas that dot the celestial background, including the Andromeda Galaxy. Tomorrow the Earth will connect the Sun to the Moon by way of its shadow: a total lunar eclipse will be visible from many locations around the globe.

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