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.

April 18, 1996

Hyakutake, Venus, Orion, and Pond
Credit and Copyright: Vic Winter, Courtesy ICSTARS

Explanation: Can you find Comet Hyakutake in the above picture? In this gorgeous photo, the starry night sky of April 9th is pictured with its new comet visitor. In the foreground is a pond with the lights of Kansas City, Missouri on the western horizon. On the upper left, the constellation of Orion is visible. At the centre, the brightest object in the picture is the planet Venus. Venus's reflection can be seen in the pond. On the right - halfway between Venus and the photograph's edge - can be seen two bright objects fairly close to each other. Of these two, look closely at lower right object. See the tail? Comet Hyakutake is still visible for Northern observers in the Western sky and now has begun to brighten again as it nears the Sun.

Tomorrow's picture: The Virgo Cluster: Hot Plasma and Dark Matter

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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.