April 18 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.

2022 April 18

Stars and Planets over Portugal

Image Credit & Copyright: Miguel Claro (TWAN, Dark Sky Alqueva)

Explanation: The mission was to document night-flying birds — but it ended up also documenting a beautiful sky. The featured wide-angle mosaic was taken over the steppe golden fields in MértolaPortugal in 2020. From such a dark location, an immediately-evident breathtaking glow arched over the night sky: the central band of our Milky Way galaxy. But this sky had much more. Thin clouds crossed the sky like golden ribbons. The planet Mars appeared on the far left, while the planets Saturn and Jupiter were also simultaneously visible — but on the opposite side of the sky, here seen on the far right. Near the top of the image the bright star Vega can be found, while the far-distant and faint Andromeda Galaxy can be seen toward the left, just below Milky Way’s arch. As the current month progresses, several planets are lining up in the pre-dawn sky: JupiterVenus, Mars, and Saturn.


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2 thoughts on “April 18 Astronomy Picture of the Day

  1. This is an absolutely stunning photo! I am reminded of the vast beauty of our cosmos every time I get to see an image like this. I consider myself lucky that I live in a time where technology has advanced to the point where we can appreciate the skies above in such a way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I enjoy all the astronomy pictures also. I’m happy when others enjoy them because I post them from my awe in seeing things we couldn’t even 50 years ago.


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