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.
2002 May 9
Explanation: Stonehenge, four thousand year old monument to the Sun, provides an appropriate setting for this delightful snapshot of the Sun's children gathering in planet Earth's sky. While the massive stone structure dates from around 2000 B.C., this arrangement of the visible planets was recorded only a few days ago on the evening of May 4th, 2002 A.D. Bright Jupiter stands highest above the horizon at the upper left. A remarkable, almost equilateral triangle formed by Saturn (left), Mars (top), and Venus (right) is placed just above the stones near picture centre. Fighting the glow of the setting sun, Mercury can be spotted closest to the horizon, below and right of the planetary triad. Still easy to enjoy for casual sky gazers, this photogenic and slowly shifting planetary grouping will be joined by a young crescent Moon beginning Monday, May 13.
Authors & editors:
Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.