Astronomy Picture of the Day – A Morning Line of Stars and Planets

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.

2012 July 11

 A Morning Line of Stars and Planets

 Image Credit & Copyright: Yuri Beletsky (Las Campanas ObservatoryCarnegie Institution for Science)

Explanation: Early morning dog walkers got a visual treat last week  as bright stars and planets appeared to line up. Pictured above, easily visible from left to right, were the  Pleiades open star cluster,  Jupiter,  Venus, and the  “Follower” star  Aldebaran, all seen before a starry background. The image was taken from the  Atacama desert in western  South America.  The glow of the rising Sun can be seen over the eastern horizon. Jupiter and Venus will  continue to dazzle pre-dawn strollers all over planet Earth  for the rest of the month,  although even now the  morning planets are seen projected away from the line connecting their distant stellar  sky mates.