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.

2012 June 13
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A Venus Transit Over the Baltic Sea
Image Credit & Copyright: Jens Hackmann

Explanation: Waiting years and traveling kilometres -- all to get a shot like this. And even with all of this planning, a good bit of luck was helpful. As the Sun rose over the Baltic Sea last Wednesday as seen from Fehmarn Island in northern Germany, photographer Jens Hackmann was ready for the very unusual black dot of Venus to appear superimposed. Less expected were the textures of clouds and haze that would tint different levels of the Sun various shades of red. And possibly the luckiest gift of all was a flicker of a rare green flash at the very top of the Sun. The above image is, of course, just one of many spectacular pictures taken last week of the last transit of the planet Venus across the face of the Sun for the next 105 years.

Vote: APOD entered in Three Quarks Daily 2012 Science Writing Contest
Tomorrow's picture: when the sky is serene

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