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.

2011 June 6
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Geometer's Playground Over Wyoming
Credit & Copyright: Robert Arn (Colorado St. U.)

Explanation: If you travel several kilometers off a main highway through Wyoming, you may see an unusual sight. In particular, near Buford, Wyoming, USA, you could run across the geometric Ames Monument, visible on the right, built to commemorate the financiers of a historic transcontinental railroad across North America. The above spectacular wide field mosaic, however, has also captured other geometric designs, many of them far in the distance. On the far left, for example, is a lunar halo surrounding by a lunar corona surrounding the setting Moon. On the right, however, is the arch of the central band of our Milky Way Galaxy surrounding the pyramidal structure. Illuminating the horizon to the right of the monument are the city lights of Cheyenne. The menagerie of images used to create this 360-degree composite were all taken during a single night last month. Still, the digital stitching of images taken over such a long period of time has led to a few unnatural land and sky justapositions. Can you identify any?

Tomorrow's picture: night landing

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