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Astronomy Photo of the Day

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The study of the stars, galaxies and the universe has pervaded scientific thought in societies from ancient Egypt to Babylon, stagnating in the Middle Ages and surging forward through the Renaissance. But our questions about the cosmos, just like the Universe itself, are only expanding.

The study of astronomy is an exercise in understanding grandeur. Astronomers examine planets, comets and moons. They peer through the dust of the Milky Way, a spiral galaxy and our own home, to try and make out those other celestial bodies in our Local Group of galaxies. Beyond this even, they consider the large-scale structure of the Universe, using theories like The Big Bang to try and understand the formation and the evolution of our planet, our galaxy, and the Universe as a whole.

Before the invention of the telescope, most of the study of astronomy was dedicated to theory. Observations were drawn and measurements were made based on estimates. But with Galileo and Newton came a new age; since then, astronomers have taken on an entirely new role. No longer must they rely on the power of their imaginations to understand the splendor and magnificence of the stars. The images they can collect using modern telescopes are filled with color and light, turning a sky of twinkling stars into one of bright, strange planets, swirling galaxies and brilliant explosions. Astronomy Photo of the Day has collected the most staggering of these images for your consumption. Each day, a new scene from the cosmos will be delivered to your computer, taking your breath away and reminding you just how much there is to see.

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