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.

December 2, 1995

Lightning Below
Credit: NASA, STS-55 Crew.

Explanation: In May of 1993, the Space Shuttle Columbia orbited the Earth carrying the Spacelab Deutsche 2 (SL-D2) science module and spacelab tunnel seen here riding in the shuttle's payload bay. Below, thunderstorms rage over the cloudy Earth. Several lightning flashes are visible in this high speed photograph as intense bright streaks within the clouds. The lights near the centre of the picture, just above the the shuttle's tail, are believed to be Mexico City.

Tomorrow's picture: An X-ray Hot Supernova in M81

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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.