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Space photos: The most amazing images this week!

close up of artemis 1 on crawler
Artemis 1 seen close-up during its rollout to the pad on Aug. 18, 2022. (Image credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky)

NASA's moon megarocket moves back to the launch pad, a tiny moon rover gets rolling, and a solar sail prepares for a lunar mission. These are some of the top images this week from  

Artemis 1 makes an epic journey to the launch pad

Artemis 1 seen close-up during its rollout to the pad on Aug. 18, 2022. (Image credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky)

NASA's Artemis 1 made a 9.5-hour-long crawl to its launch pad overnight Tuesday (Aug. 16) at the Kennedy Space Center ahead of a historic test. The mission, set to blast off for the moon on Aug. 29, will be an uncrewed test flight of the huge Space Launch System (SLS) megarocket and its Orion spacecraft.

Full story: NASA's Artemis 1 megarocket rolls back to launch pad for moon mission

A tiny moon rover gets crawling on Earth

A still from a video shows a prototype of the Lunar Zebro moon rover. (Image credit: ESA - European Space Agency)

Cute photos show a prototype moon rover flexing its skills on Earth. Students at the Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) in the Netherlands created the Lunar Zebro prototype, which is a small and light rover designed for use on the the moon.

Full story: This tiny moon rover has a leg up on traditional spacecraft designs

Solar sail gets ready for a unique moon mission

An artist's depiction of the NEA Scout cubesat sailing past an asteroid. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

A solar sail will fly to an asteroid as a part of the Artemis 1 moon mission. The Near-Earth Asteroid (NEA) Scout mission — a joint project between two NASA centers — will see a cubesat image the asteroid in detail.

Full story: NASA's Artemis 1 mission will carry an asteroid-bound solar sail

Deep-space biology experiment gets a moon mission lift

An artist's rendering of BioSentinel. (Image credit: NASA/Daniel Rutter )

A deep-space biology experiment will ride into space alongside Artemis 1. The experiment is mounted on a cubesat and called BioSentinel. It will carry yeast cells into an orbit around the sun similar to that of Earth's, allowing scientists to study space radiation on living creatures beyond the Earth-moon system.

Full story: NASA's Artemis 1 moon mission will carry the world's 1st deep-space biology experiment

VIPER rover crawls on moon-like regolith

The VIPER engineering test created a simulation of the terrain at the moon's south pole. (Image credit: NASA)

A future NASA moon rover clambered among moon-like regolith inside of a testing facility. NASA's Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover (VIPER), currently scheduled to land on the moon in late 2024, completed a series of mobility tests in preparation for its search for water ice. 

Full story: Watch a NASA moon rover complete a lunar obstacle course (video)

Hawai'ian cloud looks like a flying saucer

A lenticular cloud floats above the Gemini Observatory in Maunakea, Hawai'i. (Image credit: International Gemini Observatory/NOIRLab/NSF/AURA/J. Chu)

A flying saucer-shaped cloud was spotted over Hawai'i recently but the origin was anything but alien. The Gemini Observatory on the Big Island of Hawai'i photographed a lenticular cloud over its telescopes, showing a phenomenon common in mountainous areas.

Full story: Flying saucer-shaped cloud floats above Hawaiian telescopes (photo)

Hubble Space Telescope spots colorful outflows in deep space

A Hubble Space Telescope image shows gas and dust in the Orion Nebula. (Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, J. Bally Acknowledgement: M. H. Özsaraç)

A swirly Hubble Space Telescope photo portrays the Orion Nebula as a dynamic place to be. It zooms in on a region known as the Herbig-Haro object HH 505 and shows off the outflows from that area in colorful tones.

Full story: Hubble Space Telescope paints stellar outflows in new portrait of the Orion Nebula

Supermassive black holes are in a frenetic dance

The galaxy NGC 7727, the product of a cosmic dance between two merging galaxies that began a billion years ago. (Image credit: ESO)

Fresh imagery of a distant galaxy shows two supermassive black holes swirling into collision. The billion-year-long crash in NGC 7727 will eventually see the huge objects colliding and merging into an even more massive supermassive black hole.

Full story: Supermassive black hole pair nearest Earth is locked in a violent cosmic dance

Boom Supersonic gets an order from American Airlines

A rendering of the Boom Supersonic Overture in flight above the clouds,. (Image credit: Boom Supersonic)

Boom Supersonic got an order from American Airlines for 20 passenger jets. Once ready, the new airliners should carry passengers at twice the speeds of the usual passenger aircraft. The top speed of the Overture aircraft is Mach 1.7, or roughly 1,227 mph (1,975 kph); Mach 1 is the speed of sound.

Full story: American Airlines orders 20 Boom Supersonic passenger jets

Black hole scrutiny may point to dark matter

An artist's concept showing a supermassive black hole surrounded by a disk of gas (Image credit: ESO, ESA/Hubble, M. Kornmesser)

New investigation of black holes may point us to understanding dark matter along with extreme physics. Physicists realize now that black holes can affect their environments through processes like superradiance, during which a black hole speeds up nearby light waves to super-intense energy levels.

Full story: Black hole 'superradiance' phenomenon may aid quest for dark matter

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Elizabeth Howell
Elizabeth Howell

Elizabeth Howell, Ph.D., is a staff writer in the spaceflight channel since 2022. She was contributing writer for (opens in new tab) for 10 years before that, since 2012. As a proud Trekkie and Canadian, she also tackles topics like diversity, science fiction, astronomy and gaming to help others explore the universe. Elizabeth's on-site reporting includes two human spaceflight launches from Kazakhstan, three space shuttle missions in Florida, and embedded reporting from a simulated Mars mission in Utah. She holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, and a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University. Elizabeth is also a post-secondary instructor in communications and science since 2015. Her latest book, Leadership Moments from NASA, is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday.

  • Non-Lurker
    On the 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.