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.
2010 December 10
Explanation: A thin, one day old crescent Moon hugged the western horizon after sunset on Monday, December 6. The Moon also occulted or passed in front of Mars. But only some well-placed skygazers along a band through North America were able to catch this lunar occultation's final act in fading twilight. For example, this telephoto image nicely captures the Mars as a pinprick of light, shortly after it emerged from behind the crescent Moon's sunlit edge. The luminous skyview is from De Soto, Kansas in the central US. Of course, this month's upcoming total lunar eclipse will entertain a much wider audience of Moon enthusiasts during the night of December 20/21.
Authors & editors:
Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
NASA Official: Phillip Newman Specific rights apply.
A service of: ASD at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.