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 September 11
A scenic and hilly landscape is shown just before sunrise. 
On the left is Comet Nishimura near the horizon with a long tail
fading off toward the top of the frame. On the right is a bright spot
that is Venus. The sunrise sky is dark blue at the top but morphs
into tan at the horizon, while the foreground hills are green.
Please see the explanation for more detailed information.

Beautiful Comet Nishimura
Credit & Copyright: Petr Horálek / Institute of Physics in Opava

Explanation: This scene would be beautiful even without the comet. By itself, the sunrise sky is an elegant deep blue on high, with faint white stars peeking through, while near the horizon is a pleasing tan. By itself, the foreground hills of eastern Slovakia are appealingly green, with the Zadňa hura and Veľká hora hills in the distance, and with the lights of small towns along the way. Venus, by itself on the right, appears unusually exquisite, surrounded by a colorful atmospheric corona. But what attracts the eye most is the comet. On the left, in this composite image taken just before dawn yesterday morning, is Comet Nishimura. On recent mornings around the globe, its bright coma and long ion tail make many a morning panoramic photo unusually beautiful. Tomorrow, C/2023 P1 (Nishimura) will pass its nearest to the Earth for about the next 434 years.

Tomorrow's picture: galaxies galore

< | 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.