Advanced Imaging Conference
2013 Hubble Award Recipients
Dr. Jerry Bonnell and Dr. Robert Nemiroff

The Editors of Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD)

Dr. Jerry BonnellDr. Robert Nemiroff

APOD's beginning were humble- it started over a series of lunch conversations between two office mates at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center who had just discovered the world wide web using the original Mosaic Internet browser. Over the years, it became one of the web's longest lasting, most beloved Internet destinations when the Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) was launched on June 16, 1995 by Jerry Bonnell and Robert Nemiroff. To their surprise, the first edition received 14 visitors who stumbled upon the site. The next installment wasn't posted until later that week but, since then, APOD has not missed a day over its 18 year history with cumulative visitations exceeding one billion!

Essentially, APOD remains a humble operation that has not yet left the garage where it was launched. For example, APOD remains a two man operation. Both editors work independently, personally select each picture that's featured, write a description using their original Linux based HTML editor then post it in anticipation of the robotic process that publishes everything to the web.

Featuring imagery culled from the world's great observatories, produced by orbiting telescopes and created by talented astrophotographers, today APOD has 10 new pictures for every one that's selected. Although their selections occasionally seem somewhat capricious to some, quirky pictures, images that tell a good story, scenes grabbed from news of the day, rare astronomical events and classic depictions tend to catch their attention.

Significantly, APOD has been an ardent supporter of the astrophotographic community where imagery taken with modest equipment are showcased along side those produced by professionals using state of the art instruments.