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.

2009 May 18
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download
the highest resolution version available.

Moon Rays Over Thurso Castle
Credit & Copyright: Stewart Watt

Explanation: What's happening over that castle? While waiting for the Moon to rise last month in Thurso, Scotland, amateur astrophotographer Stewart Watt took a three minute exposure of the background stars. The above image was the surprising result. Patchy clouds in front of the rising moon created crepuscular rays streaming across the night sky in spectacular fashion. In the foreground is a stone tower from Thurso Castle, a 12th century fortress augmented in the 17th century. Above the crepuscular moon rays are stars, many from the constellation of the Lion (Leo). Visible to the right of the tower is the planet Saturn.

Tomorrow's picture: star clouds

< | Archive | Index | Search | Calendar | RSS | Education | About APOD | Discuss | >

Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
NASA Official: Phillip Newman Specific rights apply.
NASA Web Privacy Policy and Important Notices
A service of: ASD at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.