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Planetary Picture of the Day - Week of December 13, 2021

Planetary Picture of the Day - Week of December 13, 2021

PPOD December 13

Planetary Picture of the Day

Week of December 13, 2021

Welcome to our weekly recap of our Planetary Picture of the Day (PPOD)!
Comet Leonard, the Amazon, the space station and more – take a moment and enjoy.


Monday, December 13, 2021

Shiprock in NM
Credit Image: Marco Miglionico (

The Sun Rises over Shiprock in New Mexico
Shiprock is a geologic structure made out of volcanic breccia that solidified 750-1000 meters underground about 27 million years ago and was brought to the surface through millennia of erosion. It is located about 17 kilometers south of the town of Shiprock, New Mexico, within the Navajo Nation. In Navajo, it is called Tsé Bitʼaʼí, "rock with wings".


Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Space Station Silhouette

Image Credit & Copyright: Andrew McCarthy (

Space Station Silhouette on the Moon
This composite image was taken from Payson, Arizona, in November 2021 and captures the International Space Station passing in front of the gibbous Moon. The bright crater in the upper left is Tycho.


Wednesday, December 15, 2021


Credits (Image and Caption): Kyle Connour for the IUVS team / NASA / MAVEN

MAVEN Postcard from Mars!
During a routine image session, the Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph (IUVS) instrument aboard MAVEN snapped a mid-ultraviolet image of Mars, which has been scaled to visible wavelengths to produce this image. It’s a cloudy time of year on Mars, and we see some spiral-shaped clouds near the top of the image, showing how dynamic, and almost Earth-like, Mars’ weather can be.


Thursday, December 16, 2021


Image credit: Alexander Gerst/ESA

The Amazon river viewed from the International Space Station.
Taken on July 14, 2018 by astronaut Alexander Gerst from the ISS, this image of the Amazon River is striking with its golden color (due to the reflection of sunlight) and dark, contrasting rainforest. You can see numerous examples of river features, including meanders, oxbow lakes, and braiding.


Friday, December 17, 2021

Comet Leonard

Credit: Henry Hungerland

Comet Leonard 2021
This composite photo of Comet Leonard was taken from Trona Pinnacles, California. The comet was discovered in early 2021 by Greg Leonard, and it is brightening more than expected. Comet Leonard can be seen shortly after sunset to the southwest and is currently at magnitude 2.6 and visible with the unaided eye!



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