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.

2017 December 8
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Alpine Superga Moonset
Image Credit & Copyright: Stefano De Rosa

Explanation: December's Full Moon phase occurred near perigee, the closest point in its orbit around our fair planet. Big and bright, the fully illuminated lunar disk sets over rugged mountains in this early morningscape from Turin, Italy. Captured just before sunrise on the opposite horizon, scattered sunlight near the edge of Earth's shadow provides the beautiful reddish glow of the alpine peaks. Hills in the foreground are still in shadow. But the scattered sunlight just illuminates the dome and towers of Turin's historic Basilica of Superga on a hilltop near the lower right in the telephoto frame.

Tomorrow's picture: light-weekend

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