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.

2006 September 7
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download
 the highest resolution version available.

Colourful Moon Mosaic
Credit & Copyright: Noel Carboni

Explanation: No single exposure can easily capture faint stars along with the subtle colours of the Moon. But this dramatic composite view highlights both. The mosaic digitally stitches together fifteen carefully exposed high resolution images of a bright, gibbous Moon and a representative background star field. The fascinating colour differences along the lunar surface are real, though highly exaggerated, corresponding to regions with different chemical compositions. And while these colour differences are not visible to the eye even with a telescope, moon watchers can still see a dramatic lunar presentation tonight. A partial eclipse of the Moon will be visible from Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia.

Tomorrow's picture: Messier's last

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