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.

August 7, 1995

Night Launch of Endeavour
Credit: NASA, Kennedy Space Centre

Explanation: Space Shuttle Endeavour thunders off into orbit in a rare night launch. This March 1995 mission is most famous for operating the set of astronomical telescopes known as Astro-2. Astro-2's telescopes observed the universe in ultraviolet light - light so blue humans by themselves can't see it. Astro-2 measured the amount of ultraviolet light emitted by several interesting stars, galaxies, planets, and QSOs. Analysis of data from this NASA mission has yielded the first clear detection of helium created during the beginning of the universe.

For more information about NASA's Space Shuttle missions, see the NASA Space Shuttle Launches page.

Tomorrow's picture: Columbia Waits, Discovery Launches

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
&: Michigan Tech. U.