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.

2004 July 20
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download
 the highest resolution version available.

Space Station, Venus, Sun
Credit & Copyright: Tomas Maruska (SAAD)

Explanation: On June 8, Venus was not the only celestial object to pass in front of the Sun. A few well-situated photographers caught the International Space Station also crossing the Sun simultaneously. Pictured above is a unique time-lapse image of the unprecedented double transit, a rare event that was visible for less than a second from a narrow band on Earth. The above image is a combination of 12 frames taken 0.033 seconds apart and each themselves lasting only 1/10,000 th of a second. The image was taken from the small village of Stupava in Slovakia. The next time Venus will appear to cross the Sun from Earth will be in 2012.

News: Today is the 35th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing.
Tomorrow's picture: shadow rings

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