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.

2002 September 25
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Jupiter, Moons and Bees
Credit & Copyright: Russell Croman

Explanation: Rising before the Sun on September 4, Jupiter and an old cresent Moon gathered in the dim constellation of Cancer. Watching from a hillside near Austin, Texas, planet Earth, astrophotographer Russell Croman recorded this view of their passing as clouds gracefully dimmed the brilliant moonlight. Earthshine illuminates the lunar night side and on close inspection, bright Jupiter at the lower right appears tightly flanked by its own four large Galilean moons. Next to Jupiter lies a loose swarm of stars just below the clouds. The stars are the brighter members of the nearby star cluster M44, popularly known as the Beehive cluster. Croman's remarkable digital image has been processed only slightly to improve the visibility of the earthshine region and Jupiter's moons.

Tomorrow's picture: rocket trail

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
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