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.

May 4, 1996

Astro 1 In Orbit
Credit: STS-35 Crew, NASA

Explanation: In December of 1990, the Space Shuttle Columbia carried an array of astronomical telescopes high above the Earth's obscuring atmosphere to observe the Universe at ultraviolet and x-ray wavelengths. The telescopes, known by the acronyms UIT, HUT, WUPPE, and BBXRT, are seen here in Columbia's payload bay against a spectacular view of the constellation Orion. The ultraviolet telescopes were mounted on a common structure - HUT is visible in this view along with a star tracker (the silver cone at the left). The mission studied solar system, galactic, and extra-galactic sources.

Tomorrow's picture: Planet Near a Galaxy Core

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (GMU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA).
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