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.

2023 June 20
Two identical images are shown side by side. On each, a silhouette of 
a person holding a long stick is shown standing on a rock before the sea. 
Above the person, running diagonally, is the central band of our Milky Way
Galaxy. On the right image, a type of bird called a Nandu is shown in outline.
 Please see the explanation for more detailed information.

The Ñandú in the Milky Way
Image Credit & Copyright: Fefo Bouvier; Line Drawing: Alfonso Rosso

Explanation: Have you seen the bird in the Milky Way? Beyond the man in the Moon, the night sky is filled with stories, and cultures throughout history have projected some of their most enduring legends onto the stars and dust above. Generations of people see these celestial icons, hear their associated stories, and pass them down. Pictured here is not only a segment of the central band of our Milky Way galaxy, but, according to folklore of several native peoples of Uruguay, the outline of a great bird called Ñandú. Furthermore, Ñandú's footprint is associated with the Southern Cross asterism. In the foreground, in silhouette, is a statue of María Micaela Guyunusa, an indigenous woman of the Charrúa people who lived in the 1800s and endures as a symbol of colonial resistance. The composite image was taken in mid-April in Cabo Polonio, Uruguay, with the Atlantic Ocean in the background.

Tomorrow's picture: the way of the Sun

< | 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,
NASA Science Activation
& Michigan Tech. U.