19 December 2013, 04:59 PM ET
Soyuz VS06, with Gaia space observatory, lifted off from Europe's Spaceport, French Guiana, on Dec. 29, 2013, as seen in this spectacular space wallpaper.
19 December 2013, 09:43 AM ET
By keeping tabs on 1 billion stars over its five-year mission, Gaia aims to create the first accurate 3D map of the Milky Way Galaxy.
19 December 2013, 07:00 AM ET
Europe's Gaia spacecraft lifted off from French Guiana Thursday, carried aloft by a Russian Soyuz-Fregat rocket. Gaia is on its way to a gravitationally stable point about 930,000 miles from Earth, which it should reach in three weeks.
17 December 2013, 02:33 PM ET
Using a billion pixel camera and 2 telescopes, the European spacecraft will scan every star at least 70 times during a 5 year period. This will create the most comprehensive guide to the Milky Way to date.
17 December 2013, 01:59 PM ET
This space wallpaper is a color-coded topography map of Juventae Chasma revealed by Mars Express. White and red show the highest terrains, while blue and purple show the deepest.
16 December 2013, 09:31 AM ET
This beautiful space wallpaper is a composite image combining a new infrared view of the Crab Nebula, obtained with ESA’s Herschel Space Observatory, with an optical image from the archives of the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.
13 December 2013, 09:27 AM ET
ESA's Gaia mission's billion pixel camera will create the most accurate three dimensional map of our galaxy (mapping a billion stars). Find out how it will do it. The mission is scheduled to launch on December 19th, 2013.
12 December 2013, 05:05 PM ET
NASA scientists found faint signatures of water in the atmospheres of five distant planets orbiting three different stars, as illustrated in this space wallpaper. All five planets appear to be hazy.
11 December 2013, 03:39 PM ET
NASA's Interface Region Imaging Spectrometer, or IRIS, has revealed fine detail in prominences within the sun's atmosphere (the red swirls shown in this space wallpaper), challenging the way scientists understand such events.
10 December 2013, 01:58 PM ET
This colorful space wallpaper from NASA's Cassini mission is the highest-resolution view of the unique six-sided jet stream at Saturn's north pole known as "the hexagon." Image obtained on Dec. 10, 2012 and released Dec. 4, 2013.
06 December 2013, 11:13 AM ET
This space wallpaper is an Envisat radar image acquired over the city of Boca do Acre in western Brazil. The city lies within Amazonas state, the largest Brazilian state by area, and almost completely covered by the Amazon Rainforest.
05 December 2013, 12:59 PM ET
This space wallpaper by NASA's Kepler spacecraft shows the telescope's full field of view taken in a new demonstration mode in late October.
04 December 2013, 09:15 AM ET
This cluster of stars seen in this space wallpaper is known as Messier 15. It is located some 35,000 light-years away in the constellation of Pegasus (The Winged Horse).
03 December 2013, 01:54 PM ET
When a planet transits its star, the change in light tells its tale. Size, mass and atmospheric composition can be derived. Especially critical: Does it have oxygen, the marker of life?
03 December 2013, 11:23 AM ET
The Large Magellanic Cloud is one of the closest galaxies to our own. Astronomers have used ESO’s Very Large Telescope to explore NGC 2035, one of its lesser known regions, in great detail as seen in this stunning space wallpaper.
02 December 2013, 02:59 PM ET
Now that autumn is fading into winter, the beautiful winter Milky Way is coming into view in the eastern sky.
02 December 2013, 10:17 AM ET
Astronomers at ESO have captured the best image so far of the curious clouds around the star cluster NGC 3572 as seen in this spectacular space wallpaper.
29 November 2013, 02:02 PM ET
This time-lapse space wallpaper shows Comet ISON approaching and leaving during its slingshot around the sun — represented by the white circle — on Nov. 28, 2013. The ISON images clearly outline the curve of the comet's orbit path.
27 November 2013, 11:04 AM ET
This sprinkling of cosmic glitter makes up the galaxy known as ESO 149-3, located some 20 million light-years away from us, as seen in this stunning space wallpaper.
25 November 2013, 09:20 AM ET
The big blob-like structure shown in this space wallpaper, named Himiko after the legendary ancient queen of Japan, turns out to be three galaxies thought to be in the process of merging into one.
22 November 2013, 02:37 PM ET
This space wallpaper shows an unusually bright gamma-ray burst, which produced a jet that emerged at nearly the speed of light. Gamma-ray bursts are the most powerful type of explosions in the universe and typically mark the destruction of a massive star.
20 November 2013, 02:10 PM ET
The brilliant band of the Milky Way dazzles over Mount Rainier National Park in an amazing new image.
20 November 2013, 11:44 AM ET
A distant galaxy appears as a sliver in the night sky in this photo by an astrophotographer.
19 November 2013, 07:16 PM ET
Comet ISON shows off its tail in this spectacular space wallpaper taken on Nov. 19, 2013, using a 14-inch telescope located at the Marshall Space Flight Center.
19 November 2013, 02:12 PM ET
This beautiful space wallpaper shows the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket with NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) spacecraft onboard at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 41, on Nov. 17.
18 November 2013, 10:44 AM ET
As galaxies speed through gigantic cauldrons, they occasionally jumble the gas and forge it into lop-sided shapes. An example is revealed in this space wallpaper, which is a composite image of the galaxy group NGC 5044.
15 November 2013, 12:31 PM ET
The Dasht-e Lut salt desert in southeast Iran is captured in this stunning space wallpaper. The desert is often called the ‘hottest place on Earth’ as satellites measured record surface temperatures there for several years.
14 November 2013, 05:35 PM ET
This beautiful space wallpaper is a photo illustration based on a Hubble Space Telescope survey of evolving Milky Way-type galaxies. The current night sky is dominated by the white glow of myriad middle-aged stars along the lane of the Milky Way.
13 November 2013, 10:36 AM ET
This amazing space wallpaper reveals the throes of stellar birth, as never before, in the well-studied object known as HH 46/47. The image is the result of combined observations from the Spitzer Space Telescope and ALMA in Chile.
12 November 2013, 06:00 AM ET
The most luminous objects in the universe keep getting more mysterious. Astronomers have discovered a new type of quasar — an incredibly bright galactic core powered by a supermassive black hole — that current theory fails to predict.
11 November 2013, 02:57 PM ET
This cool space wallpaper from the VLT Survey Telescope at ESO's Paranal Observatory shows the remarkable super star cluster Westerlund 1. This exceptionally bright cluster lies in the southern constellation of Ara (The Altar).
08 November 2013, 04:38 PM ET
Two interacting galaxies shine in the constellation Triangulum in this spectacular image.
08 November 2013, 11:57 AM ET
Shining brightly in this space wallpaper by the Hubble Space Telescope is our closest stellar neighbor: Proxima Centauri. Proxima Centauri lies in the constellation of Centaurus (the Centaur), just over four light-years from Earth.
04 November 2013, 08:13 AM ET
This fascinating space wallpaper reveals the center of the Milky Way galaxy imaged by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. Our host galaxy is displayed on a quarter-of-a-billion-pixel, high-definition 23-foot-wide (7-meter) LCD science visualization screen.
30 October 2013, 09:49 AM ET
This detailed space wallpaper shows the central parts of the nearby active galaxy NGC 1433. The dim blue background image, showing the central dust lanes of this galaxy, comes from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.
24 October 2013, 01:20 PM ET
The zoomed panel on this space wallpaper highlights the galaxy known as z8_GND_5296, which was recently confirmed to be the most distant galaxy known, hailing from only 700 million years after the Big Bang.