Happy Summer Solstice from NASA

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.

2018 June 21
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download the highest resolution version available.

Northern Lights and Noctilucent Clouds
Image Credit & Copyright: Adrien MauduitExplanation: Skies after the near-solstice sunset on June 17 are reflected in this calm lake. The tranquil twilight scene was captured near Bashaw, Alberta, Canada, northern planet Earth. Usually spotted at high latitudes in summer months, night shining or noctilucent clouds hang just above the horizon, transfusing light into a darker sky. Near the edge of space, the icy apparitions are condensations on meteoric dust or volcanic ash still in sunlight at extreme altitudes. Also near the edge of space on this short northern night, solar activity triggered the lovely apparition of aurora borealis or northern lights.

Solstice Today: 10:07 UTC
Tomorrow’s picture: galaxy in a crystal ball

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Astronomy, Photography, Earth and Mars in Harmony

Take a journey with Steve Strom, astronomer and photographer based in Tucson, and his contrasting photos of Earth and Mars which are striking in their similarities.  The short film by Arizona Public Media was well worth five minutes of my time.  I’m impressed!

The Art and Science of Earth and Mars

Published on Nov 23, 2015 by Arizona Public Media (5.31 mins)

Earth and Mars were formed at the same time, 3.5 to 4 billion years ago. Yet cosmic forces left one wet and lush and the other dry and barren. Local astronomer and photographer Steve Strom has authored a book that invites readers to contemplate the differences and similarities of these two adjacent planets.

For more information about Steve Strom and his newly published book Sand Mirrors, click here:  http://www.stephenstrom.com/