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.

2020 February 1
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download
the highest resolution version available.

Apollo 14 Heads for Home
Image Credit Apollo 14, NASA, JSC, ASU (Image Reprocessing: Andy Saunders)

Explanation: When leaving lunar orbit in February 1971, the crew of Apollo 14 watched this Earthrise from their command module Kittyhawk. With Earth's sunlit crescent just peeking over the lunar horizon, the cratered terrain in the foreground is along the lunar farside. Of course, while orbiting the Moon, the crew could watch Earth rise and set, but the Earth hung stationary in the sky over Fra Mauro Base, their landing site on the lunar surface. Rock samples brought back by the Apollo 14 mission included a 20 pound rock nicknamed Big Bertha, later determined to contain a likely fragment of a meteorite from planet Earth.

Tomorrow's picture: shocking infrared


< | Archive | Submissions | Index | Search | Calendar | RSS | Education | About APOD | Discuss | >

Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
NASA Official: Phillip Newman Specific rights apply.
NASA Web Privacy Policy and Important Notices
A service of: ASD at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.