August 2 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 August 2

A Moon Dressed Like Saturn

Image Credit & Copyright: Francisco Sojuel

Explanation: Why does Saturn appear so big? It doesn’t — what is pictured are foreground clouds on Earth crossing in front of the Moon. The Moon shows a slight crescent phase with most of its surface visible by reflected Earthlight known as ashen glow. The Sun directly illuminates the brightly lit lunar crescent from the bottom, which means that the Sun must be below the horizon and so the image was taken before sunrise. This double take-inducing picture was captured on 2019 December 24, two days before the Moon slid in front of the Sun to create a solar eclipse. In the foreground, lights from small Guatemalan towns are visible behind the huge volcano Pacaya.


News: APOD Receives First Outreach Prize from the International Astronomical Union

2 thoughts on “August 2 Astronomy Picture of the Day

  1. What an absolutely stunning photo! Unfortunately where I live, there’s too much light pollution to fully enjoy the view of the evening sky. I realize this is more of an excuse than a reason not go out out and appreciate the view. I feel inspired to make time to seek clearer skies and stunning views of the universe closer to where I am. After all, everyone lives under the same sky, and there’s nothing stopping us from pausing every once in a while to look up and bask beneath starlight. Thanks for the post!


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