Photos: 101 of Our Favorites From NASA’s Image of the Day

From spiraling galaxies and supernova explosions deep in the cosmos to massive solar flares and an ice-covered world right in our solar system, NASA's powerful cameras are capturing spectacular images of the universe.

101 photos
NASA astronaut Nick Hague completed the first spacewalk of his career on Friday, March 22, 2019. He and fellow astronaut Anne McClain worked on a set of battery upgrades for six hours and 39 minutes, on the International Space Station’s starboard truss.
NASA, ESA, R. O'Connell (University of Virginia), F. Paresce (National Institute for Astrophysics, Bologna, Italy), E. Young (Universities Space Research Association/Ames Research Center), the WFC3 Science Oversight Committee, and the Hubble Heritage Team
The NASA Image of the Day for July 3, 2018 looks like a fireworks display in space. You're looking at a cluster of glittering stars surround by clouds of interstellar gas and dust in a nebula about 20,000 light-years away from Earth. The Hubble Space Telescope image was captured in August 2009 and December 2009.
The Frozen Wild Dnieper River: Curling snow drifts are magnified by the terrain around the 1,400 mile Dnieper River, flowing from Russia to the Black Sea in this image from the International Space Station on Feb. 9th, 2017.
The Moon can be seen behind the ARADS rover during 2017 field tests in Chile’s Atacama Desert. The Milky Way is visible in the night sky.
This colorful image captured in April 2018 is from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. It shows a young star 200,000 times bright than our sun.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Kevin M. Gill
Colorful swirling cloud belts dominate Jupiter's southern hemisphere in this image captured by NASA's Juno spacecraft.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Gerald Eichstädt
This image of Jupiter's swirling south polar region was captured by NASA's Juno spacecraft as it neared completion of its tenth close flyby of the gas giant planet.
NASA/GSFC/Solar Dynamics Observatory
NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory came across an oddity that the spacecraft has rarely observed before: a dark filament encircling an active region (Oct. 29-31, 2017). Solar filaments are clouds of charged particles that float above the sun, tethered to it by magnetic forces.
Anton Shkaplerov
Sunrise as seen from the International Space Station.
NASA/Mark Vande Hei
Greetings from @Astro_Sabot, otherwise known as Mark Vande Hei, from aboard the International Space Statio
NASA, ESA, and T. Brown (STScI)
A new analysis of about 10,000 normal Sun-like stars in the Milky Way's galactic bulge reveals that our galaxy's hub is a dynamic environment.
On Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018, spacewalker Mark Vande Hei snapped his own portrait, better known as a "space-selfie," during the first spacewalk of the year.
ESA/Hubble and NASA
The Hubble Space Telescope captured this beautiful image of NGC 6326, a planetary nebula with glowing wisps of outpouring gas that are lit up by a central star nearing the end of its life. When a star ages and the red giant phase of its life comes to an end, it starts to eject layers of gas from its surface leaving behind a hot and compact white dwarf. Sometimes this ejection results in elegantly symmetric patterns of glowing gas, but NGC 6326 is much less structured. This object is located in the constellation of Ara, the Altar, about 11 000 light-years from Earth. Planetary nebulae are one of the main ways in which elements heavier than hydrogen and helium are dispersed into space after their creation in the hearts of stars. Eventually some of this outflung material may form new stars and planets. The vivid red and blue hues in this image come from the material glowing under the action of the fierce ultraviolet radiation from the still hot central star. This picture was created from images taken using the Hubble Space Telescope’s Wide Field Planetary Camera 2. The red light was captured through a filter letting through the glow from hydrogen gas (F658N). The blue glow comes from ionised oxygen and was recorded through a green filter (F502N). The green layer of the image, which shows the stars well, was taken through a broader yellow filter (F555W). The total exposure times were 1400 s, 360 s and 260 s respectively. The field of view is about 30 arcseconds across.
Due to its unique evolutionary status, Cassiopeia A (Cas A) is one of the most intensely studied of these supernova remnants.
Astronauts on the International Space Station captured a series of incredible star trail images on Oct. 3, 2016, as they orbited at 17,500 miles per hour. The station orbits the Earth every 90 minutes, and astronauts aboard see an average of 16 sunrises and sunsets every 24 hours.
NASA scientists are releasing new global maps of Earth at night, providing the clearest yet composite view of the patterns of human settlement across our planet. This composite image, one of three new full-hemisphere views, provides a view of the Americas at night.
NASA/M. Justin Wilkinson/Jacobs Contract
An astronaut aboard the International Space Station took this photograph of small island cays in the Bahamas and the prominent tidal channels cutting between them. For astronauts, this is one of the most recognizable points on the planet.
ESA/Hubble & NASA
The Calabash Nebula, pictured here, is a spectacular example of the death of a low-mass star like the Sun. The recently ejected material is spat out in opposite directions with immense speed — the gas shown in yellow is moving more than 600,000 mph. The nebula is also known as the Rotten Egg Nebula because it contains a lot of sulphur, an element that, when combined with other elements, smells like a rotten egg — but luckily, it resides over 5,000 light-years away in the constellation of Puppis (The Poop deck).
NASA/Joel Kowsky
This composite image, made from 10 frames, shows the International Space Station, with a crew of six aboard, in silhouette as it transits the sun at roughly 5 miles per second, Saturday, Dec. 17, 2016.
In late May 2015, the highest volcano in the Galapagos Islands, Wolf volcano, erupted for the first time in 33 years. The wide image and closeup of Wolf was acquired on June 11, 2015, by the ASTER instrument on NASA's Terra satellite. The false-color images combine near-infrared, red and green light.
Here is a view of Earth and its moon, as seen from Mars. It combines two images acquired on Nov. 20, 2016, by the HiRISE camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, with brightness adjusted separately for Earth and the moon to show details on both bodies.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/SETI Institute/Tony Greicius
The puzzling, fascinating surface of Jupiter's icy moon Europa looms large in this color view, made from images taken by NASA's Galileo spacecraft in the late 1990s. The scene shows the stunning diversity of Europa’s surface geology. Long, linear cracks and ridges crisscross the surface, interrupted by regions of disrupted terrain where the surface ice crust has been broken up and re-frozen into new patterns.
Four images from New Horizons’ Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) were combined with color data from the Ralph instrument to create this enhanced color global view of Pluto. This view is dominated by the large, bright feature informally named the "heart," which measures approximately 1,000 miles across. The heart borders darker equatorial terrains, and the mottled terrain to its east (right) are complex. However, even at this resolution, much of the heart’s interior appears remarkably featureless — possibly a sign of ongoing geologic processes.
In October 2015, NASA astronaut Scott Kelly shared a series of 17 photographs taken from the International Space Station during a flyover of Australia. This first photo of the series was shared on Twitter with the caption, "#EarthArt in one pass over the #Australian continent. Picture 1 of 17. #YearInSpace."
Expedition 51 Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet captured this nighttime photo of Florida from the International Space Station. Bright lights include the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area, and Orlando, with Cape Canaveral to the east.
The waters around Istanbul turn a striking shade of turquoise every year. On May 29, 2017, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Aqua satellite captured the data for this image of an ongoing phytoplankton bloom in the Black Sea. The image is a mosaic, composed from multiple satellite passes over the region.
In biology, "symbiosis" refers to two organisms that live close to and interact with one another. Astronomers have long studied a class of stars — called symbiotic stars —that co-exist in a similar way. Astronomers are gaining a better understanding of how volatile this close stellar relationship can be.
Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope assembled a comprehensive picture of the evolving universe — among the most colorful deep space images ever captured by the telescope.
On Saturday April 22, 2017, Expedition 51 Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency photographed Orbital ATK's Cygnus spacecraft as it approached the International Space Station. Using the station's robotic Canadarm2, Cygnus was successfully captured by Pesquet and Commander Peggy Whitson at 6:05 a.m. EDT Saturday morning.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Gerald Eichstädt
This enhanced-color image of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot was created by citizen scientist Gerald Eichstädt using data from the JunoCam imager on NASA's Juno spacecraft.
Frequent cloud cover in the southern Atlantic Ocean often obscures satellite images of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. But occasionally the clouds give way. On September 14, 2016, the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 captured natural-color images of South Georgia Island, where several glaciers are in retreat.
ESA/Hubble & NASA/Judy Schmidt
This colorful bubble is a planetary nebula called NGC 6818, also known as the Little Gem Nebula. The rich glow of the cloud is just over half a light-year across — humongous compared to its tiny central star — but still a little gem on a cosmic scale. It is located in the constellation of Sagittarius (The Archer), roughly 6,000 light-years away from us.
Three CubeSats, with the Earth's limb in the background, are seen moments after being ejected from a small satellite deployer outside of the International Space Station's Kibo laboratory module on Wednesday, May 16, 2017. Over a dozen CubeSats were ejected into Earth orbit this week to study Earth and space phenomena for the next one to two years.
Viscous, lobate flow features are commonly found at the bases of slopes in the mid-latitudes of Mars, and are often associated with gullies.
NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft gave humanity its first glimpse of Neptune and its moon Triton in the summer of 1989.
The Apollo 12 Lunar Module (LM), in a lunar landing configuration, is photographed in lunar orbit from the Command and Service Modules (CSM) on Nov. 19, 1969. Aboard the LM were astronauts Charles Conrad Jr., commander; and Alan L. Bean, lunar module pilot.
ESA/NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
More than a decade ago, an explorer from Earth parachuted into the haze of an alien moon toward an uncertain fate. After a gentle descent lasting more than two hours, it landed with a thud on a frigid floodplain, surrounded by icy cobblestones. With this feat, the Huygens probe accomplished humanity's first landing on a moon in the outer solar system. Huygens was safely on Titan, the largest moon of Saturn. These images of Saturn's moon Titan were taken on Jan. 14, 2005 by the Huygens probe at four different altitudes.
A galaxy about 23 million light years away is the site of impressive, ongoing fireworks. Rather than paper, powder and fire, this galactic light show involves a giant black hole, shock waves and vast reservoirs of gas. This galactic fireworks display is taking place in NGC 4258, also known as M106, a spiral galaxy like the Milky Way. This galaxy is famous, however, for something that our galaxy doesn’t have – two extra spiral arms that glow in X-ray, optical and radio light. These features, or anomalous arms, are not aligned with the plane of the galaxy, but instead intersect with it.
ESA/NASA/Samantha Cristoforetti
ESA Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti captured this image while flying aboard the International Space Station over Super Typhoon Maysak in 2015.
NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft took this stunning image of Pluto only a few minutes after closest approach on July 14, 2015. The image was obtained at a high phase angle –that is, with the sun on the other side of Pluto, as viewed by New Horizons. Seen here, sunlight filters through and illuminates Pluto’s complex atmospheric haze layers.
NASA/Chandra X-ray Observatory Center
This 70mm frame shows the 50,162-pound Chandra X-ray Observatory before it was tilted upward for its release from the Space Shuttle Columbia's payload bay on July 23, 1999, just a few hours following the shuttle's arrival in Earth orbit. Chandra was spring-ejected from a cradle in the payload bay at 6:47 a.m. Central time.
NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington
The MESSENGER spacecraft was the first ever to orbit the planet Mercury, and the spacecraft's seven scientific instruments and radio investigation unraveled the history and evolution of the solar system's innermost planet. Pictured is a false-color mosaic of the Caloris basin. On April 30, 2015, after more than 10 years in operation, the MESSENGER spacecraft crashed down on the surface of Mercury at a speed of 8,750 miles per hour.
Astronauts aboard the International Space Station see the world at night on every orbit — that’s 16 times each crew day. An astronaut took this broad, short-lens photograph of Earth’s night lights while looking out over the remote reaches of the central equatorial Pacific Ocean. ISS was passing over the island nation of Kiribati at the time, about 1,600 miles south of Hawaii.
April 3, 2017, the student-controlled EarthKAM camera aboard the International Space Station captured this photograph of a favorite target — the Grand Canyon — from low Earth orbit. The camera has been aboard the orbiting outpost since the first space station expedition began in November 2000 and supports approximately four missions annually.
Expedition 50 Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency shared this photograph from the International Space Station on Feb. 14, 2017, writing, "Venice, city of gondoliers and the lovers they carry along the canals. Happy Valentine's Day!"
NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute/Tony Greicius
Why does Saturn look like it's been painted with a dark brush in this infrared image, but Dione looks untouched? The answer is methane. This image was taken in a wavelength that is absorbed by methane. Dark areas seen here on Saturn are regions with thicker clouds, where light has to travel through more methane on its way into and back out of the atmosphere. Since Dione (698 miles across) doesn't have an atmosphere rich in methane the way Saturn does, it does not experience similar absorption — the sunlight simply bounces off its icy surface.
The Expedition 50 crew aboard the International Space Station had a nighttime view from orbit of Europe's most active volcano, Mount Etna, erupting on March 19, 2017. Astronaut Thomas Pesquet of ESA captured this image, writing, "Mount Etna, in Sicily. The volcano is currently erupting and the molten ava is visible from space, at night!"
The release of the first images today from NOAA’s newest satellite, GOES-16, is the latest step in a new age of weather satellites. This composite color full-disk visible image is from 1:07 p.m. EDT on Jan. 15, 2017, and was created using several of the 16 spectral channels available on the GOES-16 Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) instrument.
On March 16, 1966, command pilot Neil Armstrong and pilot David Scott successfully docked their Gemini VIII spacecraft with the Agena target vehicle, the first-ever linking of two spacecraft together in Earth orbit. This crucial spaceflight technology milestone would prove vital to the success of future moon landing missions.
As scientists and crew with NASA’s Operation IceBridge mission prepared for a research flight on Nov. 5, 2016, the weather in Punta Arenas, Chile, was cold, wet, and windy. But when they reached their survey site in West Antarctica, skies were clear and winds were calm—a perfect day for scientists to collect data over the Getz Ice Shelf.
ESA/Hubble and NASA
A young super star cluster known as Westerlund 1 is home to one of the largest stars ever discovered. It is a red supergiant (although sometimes classified as a hypergiant) with a radius over 1,500 times that of our Sun. The cluster is relatively young in astronomical terms — at around 3 million years old it is a baby compared to our own Sun, which is some 4.6 billion years old.
In this view from Cassini, Mimas' gigantic crater Herschel lies on the right.
Expedition 50 Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency (ESA) photographed brightly glowing auroras from his vantage point aboard the International Space Station on March 27, 2017. Pesquet wrote, "The view at night recently has been simply magnificent: few clouds, intense auroras. I can’t look away from the windows."
Mars' seasonal cap of carbon dioxide ice has eroded many beautiful terrains as it sublimates (goes directly from ice to vapor) every spring. In the region where the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter took this image on Feb. 4, 2009, we see troughs that form a starburst pattern.
Flaring, active regions of our sun are highlighted in this image combining observations from several telescopes.
The mound in the center of this Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter image appears to have blocked the path of the dunes as they marched south (north is to the left in this image) across the scene. Smaller dunes run perpendicular to some of the larger-scale dunes, probably indicating a shift in wind directions in this area.
At the center of the Centaurus galaxy cluster, there is a large elliptical galaxy called NGC 4696. Deeper still, there is a supermassive black hole buried within the core of this galaxy. New data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and other telescopes has revealed details about this giant black hole.
The Ringed Planet's hexagonal polar jet stream is the shining feature of almost every view of the north polar region of Saturn.
From space, Egmont National Park in New Zealand shows the benefits and limitations of protected areas. This isolated island of protected forest (dark green areas) is surrounded by once-forested pasturelands (light and brown green).
Middle school students programmed a camera aboard the International Space Station — the Sally Ride EarthKAM —to photograph this portion of the Sahara desert in western Libya on October 3, 2016. The Expedition 50 crew set up the EarthKAM gear in the Harmony module’s Earth-facing hatch window, to allow students to photograph targets on Earth.
This unprocessed image shows features in Saturn's atmosphere from closer than ever before. The view was captured by NASA's Cassini spacecraft during its first Grand Finale dive past the planet on April 26, 2017.
This enhanced-color image of a mysterious dark spot on Jupiter seems to reveal a Jovian “galaxy” of swirling storms.
This composite image of the Crab Nebula, a supernova remnant, was assembled by combining data from five telescopes spanning nearly the entire breadth of the electromagnetic spectrum: the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array, the Spitzer Space Telescope, the Hubble Space Telescope, the XMM-Newton Observatory, and the Chandra X-ray Observatory.
@thom_astro via NASA
Expedition 50 Commander Shane Kimbrough of NASA shared this nighttime image of Dublin on March 17, 2017, writing, "Happy #StPatricksDay Spectacular #Dublin, Ireland captured by @thom_astro from @Space_Station. Enjoy the #StPatricksFest Parade down there!"
This view, acquired on Nov. 7, 2016, by the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8, shows a portion of Canada's Mackenzie River Delta and the town of Inuvik, home to more than 3,000 people. A frozen highway — 194 kilometers (120 miles) long — runs between the remote outposts of Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk along the river’s East Channel.
On Nov. 1, 2016, NASA’s Aqua satellite passed over Indonesia, allowing the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on board to capture a stunning true-color image of oceanic nonlinear internal solitary waves from the Lombok Strait.
This false-color view from NASA's Cassini spacecraft shows clouds in Saturn's northern hemisphere. The view was made using images taken by Cassini's wide-angle camera on July 20, 2016, using a combination of spectral filters sensitive to infrared light at 750, 727 and 619 nanometers.
Saturn's beautiful bands and swirls somewhat resemble the brushwork in a watercolor painting.
An astronaut aboard the International Space Station adjusted the camera for night imaging and captured the green veils and curtains of an aurora that spanned thousands of kilometers over Quebec, Canada.
Three of Saturn's moons — Tethys, Enceladus and Mimas — are captured in this group photo from NASA's Cassini spacecraft.
On September 29, 2016, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this false-color image (MODIS bands 7-2-1) showing volcanic activity in the South Sandwich Islands. Located in the South Atlantic Ocean, the uninhabited South Sandwich Islands include several active stratovolcanoes.
The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter often takes images of Martian sand dunes to study the mobile soils. These images provide information about erosion and movement of surface material, about wind and weather patterns, even about the soil grains and grain sizes.
NASA's New Horizons spacecraft captured this high-resolution enhanced color view of Charon just before closest approach on July 14, 2015. The image combines blue, red and infrared images taken by the spacecraft’s Ralph/Multispectral Visual Imaging Camera (MVIC); the colors are processed to best highlight the variation of surface properties.
Wind is a force to be reckoned with. It can stir up monsoons, carry dust thousands of miles, and sculpt rock into sinuous arches. But sometimes, the effects of wind go unnoticed for years, like when it carves away slowly at the edges of a pond. This false-color image shows the Atchafalaya Delta of the Mississippi River and Red River in Louisiana.
A low angle of sunlight along the slim crescent of Saturn's moon Enceladus.
JunoCam images aren't just for art and science - sometimes they are processed to bring a chuckle. This image, processed by citizen scientist Jason Major, is titled "Jovey McJupiterface." By rotating the image 180 degrees and orienting it from south up, two white oval storms turn into eyeballs, and the "face" of Jupiter is revealed.
The reality is that the surface of Mars is much dryer than our imaginations might want to suggest. This image was acquired by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on April 18, 2017, at 14:04 local Mars time. A close-up in enhanced color produces a striking effect, giving the impression of a cloud-covered cliff edge with foamy waves crashing against it.
NASA astronaut Jack Fischer photographed the SpaceX Dragon capsule as it reentered Earth's atmosphere before splashing down in the Pacific Ocean west of Baja California at 8:12 a.m. EDT, July 3, 2017. Fischer commented, "Beautiful expanse of stars-but the "long" orange one is SpaceX-11 reentering!"
This panorama, photographed by an astronaut aboard the International Space Station, shows nearly the full length of Lake Powell, the reservoir on the Colorado River in southern Utah and northern Arizona. Note that the ISS was north of the lake at the time, so in this view south is at the top left of the image.
NASA/Jack Fischer
NASA astronaut Jack Fischer tweeted this photograph from the International Space Station on June 3, 2017, writing, "Never had a corner office with a view, but I must admit, I like it... a lot! #SpaceRocks." Fischer, a member of the 2009 astronaut class, has been living and working aboard the orbiting laboratory since April 20, 2017.
NASA/Chandra X-ray Observatory Center
Astronomers have discovered what happens when the eruption from a supermassive black hole is swept up by the collision and merger of two galaxy clusters.
A fjord in southern Greenland, as seen during Operation IceBridge's last flight of the 2017 Arctic campaign, on May 12, 2017. This final full science flight, ICESat-2 South, was designed along the ground tracks of NASA’s upcoming ICESat-2, to fill in a gap in altimetry coverage of central southern Greenland.
The southern tip of Italy is visible in this image taken by the Expedition 49 crew aboard the International Space Station on Sept. 17, 2016. The brightly lit city of Naples can be seen in the bottom section of the image. A Russian Soyuz spacecraft can be seen in the foreground.
NASA/Chandra X-ray Observatory Center
While fireworks only last a short time here on Earth, a bundle of cosmic sparklers in a nearby cluster of stars will be going off for a very long time.
New close-up images of a region near Pluto's equator reveal a giant surprise: a range of youthful mountains.
This little-known galaxy, officially named J04542829-6625280, but most often referred to as LEDA 89996, is a classic example of a spiral galaxy. The galaxy is much like our own galaxy, the Milky Way. The disc-shaped galaxy is seen face on, revealing the winding structure of the spiral arms. Dark patches in these spiral arms are in fact dust and gas — the raw materials for new stars. The many young stars that form in these regions make the spiral arms appear bright and bluish. The galaxy sits in a vibrant area of the night sky within the constellation of Dorado (The Swordfish).
NASA/Chandra X-ray Observatory Center
Located in our galaxy about 5,500 light years from Earth, NGC 6357 is a “cluster of clusters,” containing at least three clusters of young stars, including many hot, massive, luminous stars. There are bubbles, or cavities, that have been created by radiation and material blowing away from the surfaces of massive stars, plus supernova explosions.
NASA/Bill Ingalls
The International Space Station, with a crew of six onboard, is seen in silhouette as it transits the moon at roughly five miles per second, Sunday, Aug. 2, 2015, Woodford, Virginia.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/Tony Greicius
This low-angle self-portrait of NASA's Curiosity Mars rover shows the vehicle above the "Buckskin" rock target, where the mission collected its seventh drilled sample. The site is in the "Marias Pass" area of lower Mount Sharp. The scene combines dozens of images taken by Curiosity's Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) on Aug. 5, 2015, during the 1,065th Martian day.
On Feb. 5. 1971, the Apollo 14 crew landed on the moon. In this photo, Captain Alan Bartlett Shepard, Jr. stands by the Modular Equipment Transporter.
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope unveiled in stunning detail a small section of the Veil Nebula — expanding remains of a massive star that exploded about 8,000 years ago.
NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI/Tricia Talbert
Just 15 minutes after its closest approach to Pluto on July 14, 2015, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft looked back toward the sun and captured this near-sunset view of the rugged, icy mountains and flat ice plains extending to Pluto’s horizon.
This new NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image shows the center of the Lagoon Nebula, an object with a deceptively tranquil name, in the constellation of Sagittarius. The region is filled with intense winds from hot stars, churning funnels of gas, and energetic star formation, all embedded within an intricate haze of gas and pitch-dark dust.
Located in the Brabazon Range of southeastern Alaska, Yakutat Glacier is one of the fastest retreating glaciers in the world. It is the primary outlet for the 310-square mile Yakutat ice field, which drains into Harlequin Lake and, ultimately, the Gulf of Alaska.
NASA/CXC/IAFE/G.Dubner et al & ESA/XMM-Newton
The Chandra telescope reveals the destructive results of a powerful supernova explosion in a delicate tapestry of X-ray light. The image shows the remains of a supernova that would have been witnessed on Earth about 3,700 years ago. The remnant is called Puppis A, and is around 7,000 light years away and about 10 light years across.
International Space Station astronauts captured this photo of Earth's atmospheric layers on July 31, 2011, revealing the troposphere (orange-red), stratosphere and above.
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona/Matthew Chojnacki
On Mars, we can observe four classes of sandy landforms formed by the wind, or aeolian bedforms: ripples, transverse aeolian ridges, dunes and draa. A bedform this size likely formed over thousands of Mars years, probably longer.
NASA/Barry Wilmore
From the International Space Station, Expedition 42 Flight Engineer Barry Wilmore took this photograph of the Great Lakes and central U.S. on Dec. 7, 2014, and posted it to social media.
This image of comet Lovejoy combines a series of observations made in November 2013, when comet Lovejoy was 1.7 astronomical units from the sun. An astronomical unit is the distance between Earth and the sun.
NASA/Landsat 8
Phytoplankton blooms near Alaska’s Pribilof Islands on Sept. 22, 2014. The Pribilofs are surrounded by nutrient-rich waters in the Bering Sea. The milky green and light blue shading of the water indicates the presence of vast populations of microscopic phytoplankton. Blooms in the Bering Sea increase significantly in springtime, after winter ice cover retreats and nutrients and freshened water are abundant near the ocean surface.
NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, which watches the sun constantly, captured these images of a significant solar flare – as seen in the bright flash on the left – peaking at 6:11 p.m. EDT on May 5, 2015. Each image shows a different wavelength of extreme ultraviolet light that highlights a different temperature of material on the sun.
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