Astronomy Picture of the Day
APOD: 1999 January 31 - Welcome to Planet Earth
Explanation: Welcome to Planet Earth, the third planet from a star named the Sun. The Earth is shaped like a sphere and composed mostly of rock. Over 70 percent of the Earth's surface is water. The planet has a relatively thin atmosphere composed mostly of nitrogen and oxygen. Earth has a single large Moon which is about 1/4 of its diameter and, from the planet's surface, is seen to have almost exactly the same angular size as the Sun. With its abundance of liquid water, Earth supports a large variety of life forms, including potentially intelligent species such as dolphins and humans. Please enjoy your stay on Planet Earth.
APOD: 1998 May 30 - Water World
Explanation: Water (Dihydrogen Oxide, H2O) is a truly remarkable chemical compound, fundamental to life on Earth. Earth is the only planet in the Solar System where the present surface temperature and pressure allow the three forms of water, solid (ice), liquid (ocean), and gas (water vapor condensing in clouds) to exist simultaneously. Water in one of these forms accounts for everything visible in this view of Earth from space looking north at the Bering Sea and the coast of Alaska, USA, around Bristol Bay.
APOD: 1997 August 30 - The United States at Night
Explanation: This is what the United States of America looks like at night! Can you find your favorite US city on this image? Surprisingly, city lights make this task quite possible. The above picture is actually a composite of over 200 images made by satellites orbiting the Earth. Scans were made by the USAF Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) Operational Linescan System. The DMSP satellites continue to help in the understanding and prediction of weather phenomena as well as provide key information about population patterns, city light levels, and even rural forest fires.
Authors & editors:
& Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.