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 July 26
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Clearing Skies
Credit & Copyright: Dominic Cantin

Explanation: Clear evening skies are a welcome sight for stargazers worldwide, but clearing skies are good too. Just such a glorious occasion was recorded in this dramatic photo taken by Dominic Cantin during a recent gathering of Canadian astronomers at St-Nérée Observatory, located about 60 kilometers southeast of the city of Quebec. Looking toward the west on July 13th, the exposure captured a distant lightning flash from a passing thunderstorm at the far left. On the right, the storm clouds' retreat has uncovered an overexposed crescent Moon sharing the evening twilight with bright Venus only a few degrees away (below and far right). In the darkening sky above the young Moon is a familiar right triangle of stars in the constellation Leo. Cantin reports that clear skies followed, all night long.

Tomorrow's picture: dark shadows

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.