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.

June 3, 1996

Mir Dreams
Credit: STS-76 Crew, NASA

Explanation: This dream-like image of Mir was recorded by astronauts as the Space Shuttle Atlantis approached the Russian Space Station prior to docking during the STS-76 mission. Sporting spindly appendages and solar pannels, Mir resembles a whimsical flying insect as it orbits above New Zealand's South Island near the Cook Straight. Atlantis shuttled astronaut Shannon W. Lucid to Mir for a 140 day visit, increasing the Mir's occupancy from 2 to 3. It will return to pick Lucid up and drop off astronaut John Blaha during the STS-79 mission presently scheduled for launch on July 31, 1996.

Tomorrow's picture: Impact! 65 Million Years Ago

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (GMU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA).
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