Skip to main content

Space photos: The most amazing images this week!

Soyuz rocket creates wispy trail in space in image from space station with the earth and sunrise behind
European Space Agency astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti posted on Twitter this view of the Soyuz astronaut launch from the International Space Station on Sept. 21, 2022. (Image credit: Samantha Cristoforetti/ESA via Twitter)

The International Space Station spotted a Mediterranean island, Neptune and its rings stunned astronomers and an asteroid-colliding spacecraft peered at Jupiter's closest moon. These are some of this week's top photos. 

 Soyuz flies to space

European Space Agency astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti posted on Twitter this photo of the Soyuz astronaut launch on Sept. 21, 2022, taken from the International Space Station. (Image credit: Samantha Cristoforetti/ESA via Twitter)

European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti shared this image on Wednesday (Sept. 21). It shows what crewmembers onboard the International Space Station saw as a Russian Soyuz spacecraft made it to space to ferry three new people to the orbiting laboratory.  

Russian cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin traveled with NASA's Frank Rubio to orbit from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. NASA astronaut Bob Hines captured an amazing photo, too

NASA astronaut Bob Hines posted on Twitter this photo of the Soyuz rocket launch of Sept. 21, 2022. The photo was taken from the International Space Station. (Image credit: Bob Hines/NASA via Twitter)

"We had a spectacular view of the #Soyuz launch! Sergey, Dmitry and Frank will come knocking on our door in just a couple of hours … looking forward to welcoming them to their new home!" European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti said via Twitter on Wednesday. NASA astronaut Bob Hines captured an amazing photo, too

Full story: Soyuz rocket launch spotted from space station in amazing astronaut photos

Glittering Neptune 

Neptune and its moons glow in this image from the James Webb Space Telescope. (Image credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, and STScI)

Astronomers are delighted by this new view of Neptune. It's the best image any telescope has taken of the faraway planet since the Voyager 2 spacecraft saw it on its way out of the solar system 32 years ago.

This dazzling sight is possible thanks to the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) and the special sensitivity of its instruments. They've illuminated a series of bright patches in Neptune's southern hemisphere, for instance. Seven of Neptune's 14 moons also appear in JWST imagery. Its largest moon Triton shines prominently in the zoomed-out version of this image. 

Full story: James Webb Space Telescope captures stunning image of Neptune's rings and moons

DART looks for Jupiter's moon Europa  

NASA's asteroid-smashing mission DART took an image of Jupiter and its four main moons. (Image credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL)

This serene view shows Jupiter and four of its moons. The one closest to the giant planet, visible just to the lower right of it, was a focal point for the camera that took this shot. 

In a few days NASA will slam its Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) spacecraft into the smaller of two asteroids. To gauge how objects close to one another appear to the DRACO camera, the team instructed the spacecraft to photograph Jupiter's closest moon, Europa. This verification imagery was taken over the summer, but NASA released it on Tuesday (Sept. 20). 

Full story: NASA's DART asteroid-smashing mission spots Jupiter and its moons

SpaceX's Starship Booster 7 fires up 

A static fire test of SpaceX's Starship Booster 7 with seven engines at the same time on Monday (Sept. 19). (Image credit: Elon Musk/SpaceX)

On Monday (Sept. 19), SpaceX fired up seven of the engines on its Starship Super Heavy prototype called "Booster 7." SpaceX performed the test at their Boca Chica, Texas Starbase facility. It's the company's latest step towards getting its reusable Starship spacecraft ready for its first orbital flight. 

This was a "static fire," test, where engines ignite but the vehicle remains on the ground. Monday's test marked the highest number of SpaceX Raptor engines that the company has ever tested at the same time. 

Full story: SpaceX's Starship Super Heavy rocket just fired up 7 engines for the 1st time (video)

Icy steps on Mars 

Strange icy ridges imaged by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter may show proof of dust, water or wind, depending on where you look. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UArizona)

The HiRISE (High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured this view of ice and dust layers on the Red Planet. The ice ridges seen here are located in Solis Planum, somewhat southeast of a huge canyon on Mars called Valles Marineris

These ridges are still a mystery to astronomers, but if they learn more about them, new facets to Mars' complex history may be revealed. 

Full story: The icy steps on these Mars plains may be ancient wind-blown dust

Hubble Space Telescope observes a young exploding star 

The Hubble Space Telescope captured an exploding young star surrounded in a shroud of gas and dust. (Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, R. Sahai)

The Hubble Space Telescope has captured a star surrounded by a shroud of gas created by a recent explosion. 

The star, called IRAS 05506+2414, is quite young and located some 9,000 light-years from Earth in the constellation Taurus. The clouds of swirling material that surround the star were stirred up by some sort of an explosion that disrupted the young star system, NASA said in a statement(opens in new tab). The material in those clouds flows away from the star at mind-boggling speeds of 217 miles per second (350 km per second). Hubble took this image with its Wide Field Camera 3. – Tereza Pultarova

For more: Pictures from space! See our image of the day

Hurricane Fiona grows into a Category 4 storm 

Hurricane Fiona is the first major tropical storm of the 2022 Atlantic season. (Image credit: Copernicus)

Hurricane Fiona, seen in this image from the European Sentinel 3 satellite, has grown into a mighty Category 4 hurricane, while it moved toward Bermuda which it is expected to skirt later today. Fiona is the first major hurricane of the 2022 Atlantic season, which had an unusually slow start with no major storms forming above the Atlantic Ocean in the entire month of August for the first time in 25 years. 

Fiona, which will stay at a safe distance from the U.S. east coast, unleashed torrential rains and powerful winds on Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic earlier this week, causing widespread power blackouts. The hurricane will make landfall on the eastern coast of Canada this weekend as a category 2 hurricane. – Tereza Pultarova

For more: Pictures from space! See our image of the day

A striking image

Lightning struck near the Artemis 1 rocket on Sept. 12, 2022. (Image credit: NASA)

On Sept. 12, lightning came quite close to the Artemis 1 rocket out on the launch pad at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. But the lightning didn't come from a bright blue sky, of course. This image combines NASA's footage of the strike with a "clear day frame" filter that substitutes the stormy sky with a view of the rocket under calmer weather. – Meghan Bartels

For more: Pictures from space! See our image of the day

 A glimpse of Greece 

European astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti shared an image of Greece's Santorini island as seen from space. (Image credit: NASA/ESA/Samantha Cristoforetti)

European astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti shared an image of Greece's Santorini island as seen from space. "Greece is the birthplace of countless myths, of philosophy, democracy & the Olympic Games!" she wrote in a tweet(opens in new tab) accompanying a dozen different images of the nation, including mainland locations like Thessaloniki, "enchanting islands" like Samothrace, and a night view of the capital city of Athens.

"I love the intricate patterns of Greece’ coastlines, the tongues of land protruding into the seas, the cities nested in the bays, like Thessaloniki," she wrote in another tweet. – Meghan Bartels 

Join our Space Forums (opens in new tab) 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: community@space.com. (opens in new tab)

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: community@space.com.

Doris Elin Urrutia
Contributing Writer

Doris is a science journalist and Space.com contributor. She received a B.A. in Sociology and Communications at Fordham University in New York City. Her first work was published in collaboration with London Mining Network, where her love of science writing was born. Her passion for astronomy started as a kid when she helped her sister build a model solar system in the Bronx. She got her first shot at astronomy writing as a Space.com editorial intern and continues to write about all things cosmic for the website. Doris has also written about microscopic plant life for Scientific American’s website and about whale calls for their print magazine. She has also written about ancient humans for Inverse, with stories ranging from how to recreate Pompeii’s cuisine to how to map the Polynesian expansion through genomics. She currently shares her home with two rabbits. Follow her on twitter at @salazar_elin.

  • Non-Lurker
    On the Space.com Amazing Images of the week site, an artist's depiction of Enceladus has been mislabeled as being that of a photo of two storms on Jupiter merging and as having been taken by Juno. Don't get me wrong. I have always enjoyed the space photos and images of the week.



    https://www.space.com/32252-amazing-images.html?utm_source=notification
    Reply