Astronomy Picture of the Day

Welcome to the Astronomy Picture of the Day! Each day, we bring you a captivating image or photograph from our fascinating universe, accompanied by a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

Date: December 25, 2023

Discover the cosmos!
Witness the breathtaking sight of a tree-lined hill crowned by a majestic cathedral, aligned perfectly with a triangular-shaped mountain peak. Gazing beyond the mountain, you’ll find a crescent moon elegantly placed in the background. The exposure of the image is long enough to capture the entire lunar circle, allowing for a detailed observation. To explore this image further, click on it.


A majestic cathedral atop a tree-lined hill, with a triangular-shaped mountain peak behind it. In the background, a crescent moon shines, and the long exposure captures the rest of the lunar circle. For more details, refer to the explanation.

Captured by:
Valerio Minato

Explanation:
Photographing such a stunning triple-alignment requires careful planning. The first crucial step is to recognize the occurrence of this extraordinary celestial phenomenon. The second step involves finding the perfect location to capture the alignment. However, the third step, which is being present at the precise moment when the sky is clear, proves to be the most challenging.

The photographer attempted to capture this alignment five times over a span of six years, only to be thwarted by unfavorable weather conditions. Finally, after a long wait, the weather offered a perfect opportunity, and the photographer’s dream became a reality.

This incredible image was taken in Piemonte, Italy. The prominent structure in the foreground is the Basilica of Superga, beautifully positioned on the tree-covered hill. The middle ground showcases the magnificent peak of Monviso, while the background presents the mesmerizing crescent moon. Despite the moon appearing in a crescent phase, the exposure was long enough to capture the doubly reflected Earthlight, known as the da Vinci glow, illuminating the entire lunar surface.

Delve into the astounding world of astronomy and explore the wonders of the universe. See how the Astronomy Picture of the Day has celebrated cosmic events on various dates, including your birthday, and discover what awaits in the captivating realm of space.


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