Friday, June 26, 2015: Three of Saturn’s moons appear as crescents in this Cassini spacecraft image. Titan, the largest, stretches 3,200 miles (5,150 km)…Read More »
across, and only shows fuzzy cloud layers. Rhea, at upper left, spans 949 miles (1,527 km), and has a heavily cratered ice surface. Mimas, at center bottom, checks in at 246 miles (396 km) across, and possesses surface irregularities owing to a violent history. Titan's crescent appears to stretch further around its circumference because its atmosphere refracts light. Image released June 22, 2015.
Wednesday, June 24, 2015: Astrophotographer Joshua Blash sent in a photo of auroras seen in Rye, New Hampshire, on June 22, 2015. He writes in an email…Read More »
message to Space.com: "I headed over to the beach […] last night around 10 pm in hopes of seeing the auroras. Fortunately I was treated to an unforgettable display of northern lights. The colors and the pillars were amazing, even to the naked eye. Attached is one of the shots I took last night with some colors reflecting off the ocean."
Tuesday, June 23, 2015: The fourth Unit Telescope (UT4) of the Very Large Telescope (VLT) sits atop Cerro Paranal in Chile, underneath the Milky Way. The…Read More »
Paranal Observatory sits at an altitude of 8645 feet (2635 meters) above sea level. UT4’s main mirror stretches 27 feet (8.2 meters) in diameter, and represents one of four Unit Telescopes making up the VLT. The telescope bears the name Yepun, which means Venus in the language of the Mapuche people who live some 310 miles (500 kilometers) south of Santiago de Chile. The bright red star Antares, the sixteenth brightest star in the night sky, glows slightly above the plane of the Milky Way and at the heart of Scorpius (The Scorpion). The density of stars in this photo makes it impossible to pick out most other objects and constellations. Image released June 22, 2015.
Monday, June 22, 2015: Astrophotographer Stephen Ippolito sent in a photo of Venus and Jupiter shining over Point Judith Lighthouse, Narragansett, Rhode…Read More »
Island, taken June 14, 2015. He writes in an email message to Space.com: “When the sun set, I immediately noticed 2 very bright ‘stars’ in the sky, or so I thought.... After pulling out my iPhone and using a night sky app, I realized the 2 bright stars were actually Venus and Jupiter.“
Tuesday, June 16, 2015: This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image shows a galaxy known as UGC 11411. It is of a type known as an irregular blue compact…Read More »
dwarf (BCD) galaxy. Such galaxies stretch only about a tenth of the size of a typical spiral galaxy like the Milky Way, and consist of large clusters of hot, massive stars ionizing the surrounding gas with intense radiation. UGC 11411 possesses an extremely high star-formation rate, even as a BCD galaxy. The bright stars in the image represent foreground stars in the Milky Way galaxy.
Monday, June 15, 2015: This Dark Tower consists of dust and gas in a cloud located about 5000 light-years away from Earth in the southern constellation…Read More »
of Scorpius. Referred to as a cometary globule, the structure spans 40 light-years. The top of the tower lies exposed to intense ultraviolet radiation from a nearby cluster of hot young stars it recently generated (NGC 6231), which creates the red glow from ionized hydrogen gas.
Friday, June 12, 2015: The Soyuz TMA-15M spacecraft touches down on Earth, carrying Expedition 43 commander Terry Virts of NASA, cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov…Read More »
of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), and Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti from the European Space Agency (ESA), near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan on June 11, 2015. The spaceflyers have spent more than six months aboard the International Space Station. This photo shows the capsule’s braking rockets firing seconds before touchdown.
Thursday, June 11, 2015: Our Milky Way galaxy makes up part of a gathering of fifty galaxies known as the Local Group. Astronomers call the sphere of…Read More »
space immediately around our galaxy the Local Volume, a region roughly 35 million light-years in diameter, containing several hundred known galaxies. Here, this new NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image depicts a dwarf irregular galaxy known as PGC 18431, one of these galaxies. These Hubble observations will help probe how Local Volume galaxies cluster together and move. Image released June 8, 2015.
Wednesday, June 10, 2015: The Crab Nebula, also known as Messier 1, NGC 1952 and Taurus A, represents the remnant of a supernova explosion which was observed…Read More »
by Chinese astronomers in 1054. The tangled filaments seen here emerge as the remains of the exploded star, which continues to expand outwards at about 930 miles (1500 kilometers) per second. At the center of the nebula lie two faint stars. One of these is the Crab Pulsar, or CM Tau, which in an earlier state caused the supernova. Radiation of all wavelengths streams from the star strongly, producing a wave of material that deforms the inner portions of the nebula. The changes are taking place so fast that astronomers can observe the reshaping, a rare opportunity for research. Image released June 8, 2015.
Tuesday, June 9, 2015: A balloon lifts NASA’s Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator into the Earth's upper atmosphere with the moon in the background on June…Read More »
8, 2015. The craft launched from the U.S. Navy Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii. The “flying saucer”-shaped test vehicle was making its second test flight to evaluate new technologies of a supersonic inflatable aerodynamic decelerator and a supersonic parachute. After a rocket powered the vehicle to about 180,000 feet (54,900 m.), the parachute deployed as planned but failed to open completely.
Monday, June 8, 2015: The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft obtained this closeup image of a new (relatively speaking) impact crater in the Sirenum…Read More »
Fossae region of Mars on March 30, 2015. The crater is new in terms of a geological time scale, but quite old as it relates to humans. This impact crater appears recent as it possesses a sharp rim and well-preserved ejecta. Gullies have carved the steep inner slopes and these include possible recurring slope lineae on the equator-facing slopes. Fresh craters often contain steep, active slopes, so researchers will monitor this crater for changes. Also, the bedrock shows a diverse lithology. The crater stretches a little more than 0.6 miles (1 kilometer) in width. Image released June 5, 2015.
Friday, June 5, 2015: Astrophotographer Ruslan Merzlyakov sent in a photo of noctilucent clouds taken by the Limfjord in Nykøbing Mors, Denmark, on June…Read More »
2, 2015. Noctilucent (“night-shining”) clouds are composed of ice crystals high up in the Earth’s atmosphere, visible after the sun has set. These clouds appear during the summer, as Merzlyakov points out in an email message to Space.com: “Now it is [the] real start of the summer!”
Thursday, June 4, 2015: Snow and ice structures called penitentes stand under the night sky in the Atacama Desert of Chile. These structures form mostly…Read More »
at high altitudes, where the low pressure, moisture and temperature combine to create this intriguing, uncommon behavior in ice freezing. The blades of ice tend to orient themselves towards the sun. Above, the night sky looms, with Sirius, the large blue star, brightest in the sky, above the hill. To the left of Sirius is Betelgeuse, red supergiant in Orion constellation. Canopus is the second-brightest star after Sirius, here seen at the right-hand side. Image released June 1, 2015.
Wednesday, June 3, 2015: Elliptical galaxy Messier 84 lies about 60 million light-years away from Earth in the constellation of Virgo (The Virgin). The…Read More »
galaxy sits in the very heavily populated center of the Virgo Cluster. This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image does not encompass the entire galaxy, but only the intriguing center, and may be the best image of the region ever obtained. Image released June 1, 2015.