Image of the Day: April 2013

Image of the Day Archives

NASA, ESA and Orsola De Marco (Macquarie University)

For older Image of the Day pictures, please visit the Image of the Day archives. Pictured: NGC 2467.

Paschal Full Moon

Chris Hadfield ‏(via Twitter as @Cmdr_Hadfield)

Monday, April 1, 2013: Commander Chris Hadfield tweeted this photo from the International Space Station on March 31, 2013. He wrote: "A Full Moon. It may not be made of chocolate, but it makes for a wonderfully natural Easter egg."

— Tom Chao

Midnight at the Oasis

ESO/F. Char

Tuesday, April 2, 2013: Stars in the southern night sky appear to trail over the Residencia “hotel” at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in Chile. A 30-minute exposure reveals the observed movement of the stars due to the rotation of the Earth. In the center lies the apparently still point of the south celestial pole. On the left, and at the top of the image, float the blurred Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, neighboring galaxies of the Milky Way. The dark glass dome below the circling stars makes up part of the roof of the Residencia building. Scientists and engineers working at the observatory have used this partially subterranean construction since 2002. To combat the extreme sun and low humidity at high altitude, the building offers an artificial oasis, with a small garden, a swimming pool that humidifies the air, a lounge, a dining room, and other recreational facilities.

— Tom Chao

Into the Labyrinth

ESA/DLR/FU Berlin (G. Neukum); Image mosaic assembled by Bill Dunford

Wednesday, April 3, 2013: This mosaic shows part of the Noctis Labyrinthus region, ‘Labyrinth of the Night,’ on Mars. The region lies west of the immense gash of Valles Marineris. Scientists think the uneven region may have developed by volcanic activity in the neighboring region of Tharsis, stretching the Martian crust and fracturing it. Bill Dunford composed the mosaic using scenes available in the Mars Express image archive.

— Tom Chao

Little Lighthouse

Mike Taylor

Thursday, April 4, 2013: Astrophotographer Mike Taylor sent in a photo and wrote: “The Milky Way makes a dramatic background for Marshall Point Light in Port Clyde, Maine..” Photographed on March 18, 2013.

— Tom Chao

Northern Lights


Friday, April 5, 2013: Canada's automated aurora camera tweeted this photo on April 1, 2013. AuroraMAX wrote: "Latest #photo of #aurora borealis above Yellowknife, NWT taken at 01:56 MDT on April 1, 2013."

— Tom Chao

Spinning Wheel Got to Go 'Round

Adam Block/Mount Lemmon SkyCenter/University of Arizona

Monday, April 8, 2013:Adam Block of the Mount Lemmon SkyCenter (University of Arizona) obtained this image of spiral galaxy NGC 3344 in March 2013. Spiral galaxy NGC 3344 stretches about half the size of the Milky Way, and the impressive-looking face-on galaxy lies 25 million light-years distant.

— Tom Chao

The Right Stuff


Tuesday, April 9, 2013:The National Aeronautics and Space Administration came into being on October 1, 1958. NASA announced the seven Project Mercury astronauts on April 9, 1959, only six months later. They are: (front, L to R) Walter H. Schirra, Jr., Donald K. Slayton, John H. Glenn, Jr., and Scott Carpenter; (back, L to R) Alan B. Shepard, Jr., Virgil I. Gus Grissom, and L. Gordon Cooper.

— Tom Chao

Playin' Hooky

ESA/Hubble & NASA, M. Hayes

Wednesday, April 10, 2013: Hook-shaped J082354.96+280v621.6, or J082354.96 for short, is a starburst galaxy. The unusually high rate of star formation occurring within it gives rise to the starburst name.

— Tom Chao

How Deep Is Your Crater?

ESA/DLR/FU Berlin (G. Neukum)

Thursday, April 11, 2013: Color-coding shows the relative depth of two craters on Mars, in particular the depth of the central pits. The left-hand crater penetrates deeper than the right one, Arima crater. The Mars Express spacecraft captured the image of Thaumasia Planum region on January 4, 2013.

— Tom Chao

Shiny Shiny


Friday, April 12, 2013: The solar array attached to the Zvezda Service Module of the International Space Station reflects bright sunlight on April 3, 2013. One of the Expedition 35 crew members took the photo as part of an External Survey from International Space Station windows, recently added to the crew's task list.

— Tom Chao

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at:

Tom Chao
Tom Chao has contributed to as a producer and writer since 2000. As a writer and editor, he has worked for the Voyager Company, Time Inc. New Media, HarperCollins and Worth Publishers. He has a bachelor’s degree in Cinema Production from the University of Southern California, and a master’s degree from NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study. To find out what his latest project is, you can follow Tom on Google+.