Space Image of the Day Gallery (August 2014)


ESA/Hubble & NASA; Acknowledgement: Judy Schmidt

Friday, Aug. 15, 2014: A new NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image shows a variety of galaxies. The two galaxies on the left of this image are 2MASX J16133219+5103436 at the bottom, and its blue-tinted companion SDSS J161330.18+510335 at the top. The two form a galactic pair named Zw I 136. The two galaxies are interacting, and possess disturbed shapes and extended soft haloes. At the right lies a galaxy with a shape perhaps more familiar to viewers, a side-on spiral.

— Tom Chao

Space Station Supermoon

Alexander Gerst (via Twitter as @Astro_Alex)

Monday, Aug. 18, 2014: European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst of Germany tweeted a photograph of the newest Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV-5) cargo ship docked to the International Space Station with the supermoon in the background, on Aug. 12, 2014. He wrote: “A #supermoon setting behind our newest addition to #ISS: the last European #ATV spaceship”

— Tom Chao

Lying Down, Reach for the Stars

Gorana Kurtović

Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014: Astrophotographer Gorana Kurtović sent in a photo of the Milky Way, taken while lying on the terrace of a house on the island of Hvar, Croatia, on Aug. 2, 2014. The island lies in the Adriatic sea. Kurtović writes in an email message to “Croatian islands are less light polluted than mainland, but [the] town [of] Hvar is pretty popular among tourists, and thus more light polluted than some other places on Hvar island or other islands like Lastovo. [The photo] was taken while I was lying on the terrace of [a] soon-to-be one-hundred-year old house. The palms are as old as the house.”

— Tom Chao

The Glittery Gulf Coast

NASA (via Flickr as NASA: 2Explore)

Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014: An Expedition 40 astronaut on the International Space Station captured this spectacular image of the U.S. Gulf Coast at night. Lights from areas in the Gulf Coast states of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, as well as some of the states that border them on the north, are visible, according to a NASA image description. Some lights appear to be from off-shore oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico itself.

— Tariq Malik

Stars Fell on Atacama

Diana Juncher/ESO

Monday, Aug. 25, 2014: Stars appear to trail over Chile’s Atacama Desert in a long-exposure photo taken by astronomy PhD student Diana Juncher, while conducing research on May 21, 2014. Snow whitens the mountain tops, while clouds can be seen below La Silla observatory, near the horizon to the left. The darker and redder area lying to the right indicates the location of an open copper mine. Image released Aug. 25, 2014.

— Tom Chao

Night in Paradise

Jason Matias/

Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014: Astrophotographer Jason Matias sent in a photo of the night sky taken at Night Sky Over Ko'Olina, Oahu, Hawaii. The sun sets over the ocean, while two shooting stars zip (faintly) overhead. Photo undated.

— Tom Chao

We Are Young

ESA/Hubble & NASA

Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014: A variety of cosmic objects glow in a new image by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. At the upper center of the frame lies a small young stellar object (YSO) known as SSTC2D J033038.2+303212. Positioned in the constellation of Perseus, this star shows signs of forming into a fully grown star, emanating a murky chimney of material, framed by bright bursts of gas emitted by the star. At the bottom of the frame, the highly visible swirl of gas is a reflection nebula [B77] 63, a cloud of interstellar gas that reflects light from the stars within it. The area that appears like a dark stream of smoke floating outwards from [B77] 63 is actually a dark nebula called Dobashi 4173. Dark nebulas consist of incredibly dense clouds of dark material that block out the sky behind them.

— Tom Chao


Zak Michaels/

Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014: Astrophotographer Zak Michaels sent in a composite image of fireflies under the sky at night taken near Vevay, Indiana on May 31, 2014. He writes in an email message to “ It is a composite image made by stacking 200 photos of the same scene and blending them to make all the fireflies visible from each photo. Another photo of the scene was used for the sky, which shows our wonderful galaxy, the Milky Way.”

— Tom Chao

Throw Your Arms Around Me

Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope/Coelum

Friday, Aug. 29, 2014: Galaxy NGC 2403 displays its spiral arms which contain hot young stars, colored blue. Also the arms contain star-formation regions, identifiable by an extended red glow. Spiral arms stem from a wave-like pattern superimposing itself upon the rotation disk of stars, gas and dust that make up a disk galaxy. After freeing themselves from a star-forming region, new stars mingle with the older stars in the disk.

— 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+.