The Most Amazing Space Photos This Week!

Fire Scars on Notre Dame

(Image: © Satellite image ©2019 Maxar Technologies)

The Notre Dame Cathedral lost its spire and rooftop on April 15 during an intense blaze that lasted about half a day. The DigitalGlobe WorldView-2 satellite flew over Paris on Wednesday (April 15) and captured this birds-eye view of the 850-year old French landmark. 

Credit: 2019 Maxar Technologies

[Full Story: Notre Dame Fire Damage Spotted from Space (Photo)]

A Dash Of Comet In A Meteorite

(Image: © Carles Moyano-Cambero/Institute of Space Sciences, Barcelona)

Researchers made a peculiar finding when they detected a piece of a comet inside a stony meteorite. Comets and the asteroids that produce meteorites can originate in very different areas of the solar system, so this sample could offer scientists insight about what Earth's celestial neighborhood looked like back in its early stages. In this image, polarized light is sent through a thin slice of the stony meteorite, illuminating the different colors within the space rock, and the white arrow indicates the comet fragment.

Credit: Carles Moyano-Cambero/Institute of Space Sciences, Barcelona

[Full Story: Rare Comet Fragment Found Inside Rocky Meteorite]

Plasma Rain

(Image: © NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory/Scientific Visualization Studio/Tom Bridgman, lead animator)

Astronomers have detected "plasma rain" pouring down over the surface of the sun.  This rain  is created in the sun's scorching outer layer, when plasma expands up into a magnetic loop. As it moves away from the heat source, it cools, and then gravity pulls the plasma back down towards the solar surface in fiery cascades. 

Credit: NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory/Scientific Visualization Studio/Tom Bridgman, lead animator

[Full Story: It Rains on the Sun (Just Not the Way You Think)]

Lunar Retroreflector Array

(Image: © SpaceIL/Courtesy Xiaoli Sun/GSFC)

NASA's Lunar Retroreflector Array (LRA) instrument is lightweight and smaller than a computer mouse. It's also tough and was designed to be long-lived, so there's a chance it may have survived the April 11 crash-landing of Israel's Beresheet moon probe, the spacecraft that LRA was traveling on. 

Credit: SpaceIL/Courtesy Xiaoli Sun/GSFC

[Full Story: Did NASA Experiment Survive Israeli Moon Lander's Crash?]

Apollo 11 Command Module On Display

(Image: ©

The spacecraft that carried the first astronauts to land on the moon in July 1969 will spend the 50th anniversary of its mission at The Museum of Flight in Seattle. The Apollo 11 command module ''Columbia'' brought Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins to and from the moon, and now, it stars in the new Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service's "Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission."


[Full Story: Apollo 11 Spacecraft on Display in Seattle for 50th Anniversary]

Beresheet's Last Photo

(Image: © SpaceIL via Twitter)

This is the last photo that the Israeli moon lander named "Beresheet" took before it crashed into the surface of the moon in a failed landing attempt last week. At the time, the spacecraft was about 9 miles (15 kilometers) above the lunar surface, just a few moments before mission control lost contact with the spacecraft. Investigators believe that a <a href="">manual command</a>" inadvertently caused Beresheet's main engine to shut down, and the lander crashed because it couldn't slow down in time to execute a soft landing. — Hanneke Weitering

Credit: SpaceIL/IAI

It's a Giant Space Jellyfish!

(Image: © NASA/ESA/CXC)

Swimming through a group of galaxies more than 200 million light-years away from Earth is the so-called "jellyfish" galaxy named ESO 137-001. This celestial jellyfish is a spiral galaxy much like the Milky Way, but it has long "tentacles" of hot gas streaming away from the galactic disk. Scientists aren't sure how the gas is being stripped away, but NASA's James Webb Space Telescope may be able to shed some light on the origin of those tentacles by studying them in unprecedented detail after its planned launch in 2021. This view combines visible-light imagery from the Hubble Space Telescope and X-ray data from the Chandra X-ray Observatory. — Hanneke Weitering


Antares at Sunrise

(Image: © Bill Ingalls/NASA)

The Antares rocket that will launch the next cargo shipment to the International Space Station stands tall on Pad-0A at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia during sunrise this morning. Tomorrow (April 17) the rocket will launch the Cygnus CRS-11 cargo spacecraft to the orbiting laboratory with about 7,600 lbs. (3,450 kg) of supplies for the Expedition 59 crew. — Hanneke Weitering

Credit: Bill Ingalls/NASA

Meteor Streaks Over Portuguese Castle

As star trails circle over the Castle of Noudar in Barrancos, Portugal, a stray meteor streaks across the night sky. A thick light trail from the bright planet Jupiter inches through the sky to its right, and a thinner trail from the brilliant star Arcturus dominates the upper-right edge of the image. Astrophotographer Sérgio Conceição captured 80 frames to create this time-lapse view of the night sky on Feb. 17, 2019. — Hanneke Weitering

Credit: <a href=''''>Sérgio Conceição</a>

SpaceX Aces Falcon Heavy Booster Landings

One version of Falcon 9 rocket is topped by 17-foot (5.2 meter) faring.

(Image: © SpaceX)

The two side boosters on <a href=''''>SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket</a> stick a simultaneous upright landing at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida following the launch of the Saudi Arabian communications satellite Arabsat-6A on Thursday (April 11). A third booster, the core stage, landed shortly afterward on a drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean. This was the second successful flight of a Falcon Heavy and the first commercial mission for the enormous rocket. — Hanneke Weitering

Credit: SpaceX

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