Astronomy Picture of the Day

by

“Aurora Persei”
© Copyright Jimmy Westlake

If you like astronomy like I do, then you’ll like the Astronomy Picture of the Day. Every day, NASA shows a different picture related to astronomy, whether it’s a photo of a distant galaxy from the Hubble Space Telescope, or a photo of an eclipse, or a photo from an event on one of the planets in our solar system. They also include a description of the picture. For example, in the photo above entitled “Aurora Persei“, astronomer Jimmy Westlake captured the bright Perseid meteor passing by an auroral glow over Colorado in August of 2000.

Here’s more of my favorites that were recently shown on the Astronomy PIcture of the Day:

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While we’re peering above the stratosphere, check out this photo below from The Big Picture, which I wrote about a couple of weeks ago in regards to its photos of the 2008 Olympics Opening Ceremony. From the photo series “The Sky, From Above“, this photo shows a dust storm over the Sahara Desert. I don’t know about you, but looking at this picture makes me feel pretty small and insignificant. Very humbling.

I like this photo because, one, you can see the curvature of the Earth, which provides a sense of tangibility, like a ball that we can pick up. Two, you can see the ground, which provides an unusual change of perspective, since we’re not accustomed to seeing the ground this way. And three, you can see the clouds, which are normally huge and above us, obviously, but in this picture they’re quite small and below us, like a spill on the kitchen floor. Fascinating perspective.

What do you think of these photos? Please let me know in the comments.

Dust storm over the Sahara.
© Copyright NASA

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