Astronomy Picture of the Day
Discover the cosmos! Each day we feature a different image or photograph
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December 16, 1995
With the graceful arc of the Earth's limb in the background, the entire
Hawaiian Island archipelago
is visible in this stunning photo taken by the astronauts onboard the
shuttle Discovery in October of 1988.
Along with popular beaches and tropical resorts,
these volcanic islands offer
extreme elevations with dark, dry, cloudless skies. Consequently they
have also become popular sites for
sophisticated ground based telescopes. The
peak of Mauna Kea,
on the Big Island (upper left), boasts an impressive array
of astronomical instruments including
the Keck Telescope,
the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope,
the NASA IRTF,
the JCMT and UKIRT,
Gemini Telescope Project.
The dormant volcanic cone of
Haleakala on Maui (just below the Big Island)
is home to the Air Force
Maui Optical Station and
the Mees Solar Observatory.
Mahalo nui loa!
Tomorrow's picture: The Space Shuttle Docks with Mir
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