Astronomy Picture of the Day

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Astronomy Picture of the Day
APOD, March 29, 2015, Shadow of a Martian Robot.png
The APOD website on 29 March 2015, displaying that day's astronomy picture of Shadow of a Martian Robot
Web address
Commercial? No
Type of site
Photography website
Available in English (primary)
Owner NASA and MTU
Created by Robert J. Nemiroff and Jerry Bonnell
Launched 16 June 1995; 20 years ago (1995-06-16)
Alexa rank
Current status Active

Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) is a website provided by NASA and Michigan Technological University (MTU). According to the website, "Each day a different image or photograph of our universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer."[1] The photograph does not necessarily correspond to a celestial event on the exact day that it is displayed, and images are sometimes repeated.[2] However, the pictures and descriptions often relate to current events in astronomy and space exploration. The text has several hyperlinks to more pictures and websites for more information. The images are either visible spectrum photographs, images taken at non-visible wavelengths and displayed with false colors, video footage, animations, artist’s conceptions, or micrographs that relate to space or cosmology. Past images are stored in the APOD Archive, with the first image appearing on June 16, 1995. This initiative has received support from NASA, the National Science Foundation, and MTU. The images are sometimes authored by people or organizations outside NASA, and therefore APOD images are often copyrighted, unlike many other NASA image galleries.[3]

When APOD began it received only 14 page views on its first day. As of 2012 it has received over a billion image views.[4] APOD is also translated into 21 languages daily.[5]

APOD was presented at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society in 1996.[6] Its practice of using hypertext[2] was analyzed in a paper in 2000.[7] It received a Scientific American Sci/Tech Web Award in 2001.[8] In 2002, the website was featured in an interview with Nemiroff on CNN Saturday Morning News.[9] In 2003, the two authors published a book titled The Universe: 365 Days[10] from Harry N. Abrams, which is a collection of the best images from APOD as a hardcover "coffee table" style book. APOD was the Featured Collection in the November 2004 issue of D-Lib Magazine.[11]

During the United States federal government shutdown of 2013, APOD continued its service on mirror sites.[12][13]

Dr. Robert J. Nemiroff and Dr. Jerry T. Bonnell were awarded the 2015 Klumpke-Roberts Award by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific "for outstanding contributions to public understanding and appreciation of astronomy" for their work on APOD.[14][15]



  1. ^ Nemiroff, Robert; Jerry Bonnell (April 3, 2007). "APOD homepage". NASA. Archived from the original on 29 December 2010. Retrieved December 30, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b Nemiroff, Robert; Jerry Bonnell. "APOD Frequently Asked Questions". NASA. Retrieved December 30, 2010. 
  3. ^ Nemiroff, Robert; Jerry Bonnell. "About APOD Image Permissions". NASA. Retrieved December 30, 2010. 
  4. ^ "APOD Turns 17". APOD. Retrieved September 25, 2012. 
  5. ^ "About APOD". APOD. Retrieved September 25, 2012. 
  6. ^ "AAS Meeting 187th Program". American Astronomical Society. 1996. Retrieved April 3, 2007. 
  7. ^ Carr, Leslie; Hall, Wendy; Miles-Board, Timothy (February 29, 2000). "Writing and Reading Hypermedia on the Web". Technical Report, Electronics and Computer Science, University of Southampton. Retrieved April 3, 2007. 
  8. ^ "Sci/Tech Web Awards 2001—Astronomy and Astrophysics". Scientific American. May 14, 2001. Retrieved April 3, 2007. 
  9. ^ "Saturday Morning News — Astronomy Picture of Day transcript". CNN. September 21, 2002. Retrieved April 3, 2007. 
  10. ^ The Universe: 365 Days: Robert J. Nemiroff, Jerry T. Bonnell: Books
  11. ^ Wilson, Bonita (November 2004). "Featured Collection". D-Lib Magazine 10 (11). doi:10.1045/november2004-featured.collectiones. 
  12. ^
  13. ^ APOD mirror accessdate October, 4th, 2013
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ APOD for June 7, 2009
  17. ^ APOD for November 17, 1997
  18. ^ APOD for July 11, 1999
  19. ^ APOD for December 25, 2004

External links[edit]