Press Release

Science Website Serves 100 Millionth Image

By SpaceRef Editor
June 13, 2003
Filed under ,

A popular science website now claims an unusual
milestone: it has served 100 MILLION images.
Although, as its name implies, the Astronomy
Picture of the Day (APOD) changes its featured
image only once a day, each image is seen daily
by a virtual football stadium filled with space
enthusiasts. If you’re a fan of space, there
is a good chance you’ve seen one. APOD cites
the 100 million milestone as it begins it
eighth year of operation on Monday. APOD
started on June 16, 1995 at NASA’s Goddard
Space Flight Center. Served by NASA from the
address http: // apod.nasa.gov/, APOD is now
also translated by volunteers into eight
foreign languages.

“‘Will APOD soon run out of pictures?’ is one
question we are frequently asked,” says Robert
Nemiroff, one of the two creators of APOD and
a physics professor at Michigan Technological
University. “At this point,” he answers, “we
are sent so many good images that this is no
longer a problem.”

“How are images selected?'” is another popular
question,” says Jerry Bonnell, the APOD creator
that works at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.
“The ‘perfect’ picture would be both aesthetically
interesting and scientifically dazzling. Of
course, there are some pictures that just visually
grab you,” says Bonnell. “If either the immature
teenager or the mature scientist inside me says
‘cool’, I’ll try to feature it in an APOD,” adds
Nemiroff.

“How did the idea for APOD come about?” is also a
common question. The answer is given in their
new book titled “The Universe: 365 Days” which
features the best images from APOD. The book’s
preface states that the APOD idea came out of
discussions between Nemiroff and Bonnell at NASA
in 1995 on the value of the newly emerging World
Wide Web. The web was viewed as a continuing
developing encyclopedia, one that did not yet
have many of the best space images organized or
explained.

Nemiroff and Bonnell say they still enjoy writing
and editing the APODs, and have no current plans
to stop. APOD is supported, in part, by the
Laboratory for High Energy Physics at NASA’s
Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

Note to news editors: Robert Nemiroff can be
contacted at the e-mail address: nemiroff@mtu.edu .
Jerry Bonnell can be contacted at the e-mail
address jerry@milkyway.gsfc.nasa.gov .

SpaceRef staff editor.