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.

2021 August 16
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Perseid Meteor, Red Sprites, and Nova RS Ophiuchus
Image Credit & Copyright: Daniel Korona

Explanation: This was an unusual sky. It wasn't unusual because of the central band the Milky Way Galaxy, visible along the image left. Most dark skies show part of the Milky Way. It wasn't unusual because of the bright meteor visible on the upper right. Many images taken during last week's Perseid Meteor Shower show meteors, although this Perseid was particularly bright. This sky wasn't unusual because of the red sprites, visible on the lower right. Although this type of lightning has only been noted in the past few decades, images of sprites are becoming more common. This sky wasn't unusual because of the nova, visible just above the image center. Novas bright enough to be seen with the unaided eye occur every few years, with pictured Nova RS Ophiuchus discovered about a week ago. What was most unusual, though, was to capture all these things together, in a single night, on a single sky. The unusual sky occurred above Zacatecas, Mexico.

Notable APOD Image Submissions: Perseid Meteor Shower 2021
Tomorrow's picture: deep red sky ring

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