Space Image of the Day Gallery (July 2014)

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.

Milky Way Over Florida

Andrew Taber

Tuesday, July 1, 2014: Astrophotographer Andrew Taber sent in a photo of the Milky Way glowing over Topsail Hill Preserve State Park in Florida, taken in May 2014. While on vacation with his family in nearby Destin, Taber made arrangements with park rangers to visit late at night to get the shot. He mentions in an email message to that he tried to include the foreground, featuring surrounding sand dunes and a pond that recently filled with water from flash floods. Light pollution from Panama City beach about 20 miles away fills the background.

— Tom Chao

Moon Salutation

Mark Gee

Wednesday, July 2, 2014: Astrophotographer Mark Gee sent in a photo of a friend making a yoga pose in front of a rising moon, the “Honey Moon” of June 2014. He writes in an email message to “I thought it would be a cool idea to … photograph a friend of mine practicing yoga in front of a rising moon. I worked out the positioning using an iPhone app called PhotoPills, and then set up for the shoot. I was 1.8 km (1.12 miles) away from my friend on the hill, and as soon as I saw the moon beginning to rise behind her, I started shooting.” Image obtained June 13, 2014, in New Zealand.

— Tom Chao

Planet of Football

NASA's Ames Research Center

Thursday, July 3, 2014: Is this a newly discovered planet, with the solar wind trailing around it? No, it’s a scale model of a 32-panel soccer ball in a water channel at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California.

In anticipation of this year’s (FIFA) 2014 World Cup tournament, NASA engineers used the opportunity to demonstrate concepts of aerodynamics. Here, green dye shows how water flows around a scale model of a traditional soccer ball. Pink dye injected separately behind the ball shows the position of a low-pressure zone trailing the ball.

Players during the previous World Cup in 2004, complained that the ball, the Jabulani, moved erratically in flight. This year’s new ball design, the Brazuca, developed by Adidas, features a distinctive six-panel design. In tests, the new ball compared favorably to a traditional 32-panel soccer ball.

“The players should be happier with the new ball,” said Rabi Mehta, chief of the Experimental Aero-Physics Branch at NASA's Ames Research Center. “It is more stable in flight and will handle more like a traditional 32-panel ball.”

— Tom Chao

The Moon and Venus Over the Atlantic Ocean

Mike Black/

Friday, July 4, 2014: Happy Fourth of July from! Astrophotographer Mike Black sent in a photo of the moon and Venus rising over the Atlantic Ocean at Belmar, New Jersey. Photo taken on the morning of June 24, 2014.

— Tom Chao

I Got (More) Arms That Long to Hold You


Monday, July 7, 2014: NGC 4258 (aka M106) is a spiral galaxy like the Milky Way, but it possesses extra spiral arms that glow in X-ray, optical, and radio light that our galaxy does not have. These features, called anomalous arms, do not align with the plane of the galaxy. As seen here, they instead intersect with it. Image released July 2, 2014.

— Tom Chao

Convinced of the Hex

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

Tuesday, July 8, 2014: Saturn's north polar vortex and hexagon appears in this photo along with the planet’s famous rings. The hexagon, which stretches wider than two Earths, stems from the jet stream that creates its perimeter. This jet stream forms a six-lobed stationary wave wrapping around the northern polar regions at about 77º N. Cassini spacecraft’s wide-angle camera captured this image on April 2, 2014, from a distance of around 1.4 million miles (2.2 million kilometers) from the ringed planet.

— Tom Chao

What's Up? The Moon

Greg Redfern/What's Up? The Space Place

Wednesday, July 9, 2014: Astrophotographer Greg Redfern posted on his blog a photo of the first quarter moon taken on July 5, 2014. He commented: "Got some good shots last night but no joy on getting pic of Vesta-Ceres. I saw them but high clouds ruined pic attempt…. I REALLY like this shot of the 1st [quarter] moon as it shows the variations within the maria (the dark round basins) and rays." He goes by the name of Sky Guy in VA on his blog, "What's Up? The Space Place."

— Tom Chao

A Splash of Red

NASA/JPL-Caltech/SETI Institute

Thursday, July 10, 2014: NASA's Galileo spacecraft produced this image of reddish bands on Jupiter’s moon Europa. The image combines clear-filter grayscale data from one orbit of the spacecraft, combined with lower-resolution color data taken during a different orbit. The blue-white terrains point out the presence of relatively pure water ice. The reddish areas contain water ice mingled with hydrated salts, perhaps magnesium sulfate or sulfuric acid. The reddish material notably appears in the broad band in the center of the image, also in some of the narrower bands, ridges, and disrupted chaos-type features. Possibly these surface features communicated with a global subsurface ocean layer some time during or after their formation. Galileo spacecraft obtained the grayscale images on November 6, 1997, and the lower-resolution color data in 1998. Image released July 8, 2014.

— Tom Chao

Roll to Me

NASA/Bill Ingalls

Friday, July 11, 2014: At NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, the Orbital Sciences Corporation Antares rocket carrying the Cygnus spacecraft rolls to launch Pad-0A from the Horizontal Integration Facility on July 10, 2014. The Antares will blast off with the Cygnus cargo craft carrying over 3,000 pounds (1360 kg) of supplies for the International Space Station, including science experiments, hardware, parts, and provisions. The Orbital-2 mission represents Orbital Sciences' second contracted cargo delivery flight to the space station for NASA, scheduled for July 11, 2014.

— Tom Chao

Bright Center

ESA/Hubble & NASA; Acknowledgements: D. Calzetti (UMass) and the LEGUS Team

Monday, July 14, 2014: Nearby spiral galaxy NGC 1433 shines in a view obtained by NASA/ESA’s Hubble Space Telescope. The galaxy lies about 32 million light-years from Earth, and researchers place in a class of very active galaxy known as a Seyfert galaxy, which represents 10% of all galaxies. These deep-sky objects possess very bright, luminous centers comparable to that of our galaxy, the Milky Way. Hubble Space Telescope obtained the image using a combination of ultraviolet, visible, and infrared light. NGC 1433 makes up part of a survey of 50 nearby galaxies known as the Legacy ExtraGalactic UV Survey (LEGUS). Image released July 7, 2014.

— Tom Chao

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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+.