Space pictures! See our space image of the day

Space can be a wondrous place, and we've got the pictures to prove it! Take a look at our favorite space pictures here, and if you're wondering what happened to today in space history don't miss our On This Day in Space video show here!
 

Super Heavy gettin' ready

(Image credit: SpaceX)

Friday, April 5, 2024: Super Heavy is presumably being positioned for a static fire, a prelaunch test in which the booster's 33 Raptor engines will burn for a few seconds while the vehicle remains anchored to the pad.

SpaceX has already performed static fires with the booster's partner — a 165-foot-tall (50-meter-tall) upper-stage spacecraft that will fly with this Super Heavy on the fourth Starship test flight.

That mission could launch as soon as as soon as early May, SpaceX President and Chief Operating Officer Gwynne Shotwell said last month. — Mike Wall

A comet during the eclipse?

(Image credit: Dan Bartlett)

An unusual "horned" comet is now visible in the night sky — and it may even make a rare appearance during the 2024 total solar eclipse on April 8. Comet 12P/Pons-Brooks can currently be seen in the night skies of the northern hemisphere. Comets, composed of dust, rock and ices, heat up and expel gas when their orbits bring them closer to the sun, creating a glowing halo around the comet itself known as a coma. Outbursts observed from Comet 12P give it a horned-like appearance, earning it nicknames such as "Devil Comet" and "Millennium Falcon." — Samantha Mathewson

Like fireworks in space!

(Image credit: NASA, ESA, USAF, NSF; Processing: G. Ferrand (U. Manitoba), J. English (U. Manitoba), R. A. Fesen (Dartmouth), C. Treyturik (U. Manitoba); Text: G. Ferrand & J. English)

Wednesday, April 3, 2024: NASA's astronomy photo of the day for today comes to us from over 450 light-years away. According to NASA, the Pa 30 nebula resembles planetary nebulas, or other nebulas formed from nova. However, scientists believe Pa 30 may have formed after two white dwarf stars entered into a spiral together, eventually merging. Because of this, Pa 30 is also referred to as SN 1181 (SN for supernova). The blue star in the center is though to be the "zombie star" remnant of the white dwarf collision.

This image was captured using data from multiple telescopes. NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), the Hiltner 2.4-meter Telescope at MDM Observatory, Pan-STARRS, the Chandra X-Ray Observatory and ESA's XMM-Newton telescope were all used to combine infrared, visible and X-ray light spectra. 

Astronaut afloat

NASA astronaut Loral O'Hara conducts leak checks aboard the International Space Station. (Image credit: NASA)

Tuesday, April 2, 2024: NASA astronaut Loral O'Hara conducts leak checks aboard a Russian module of the International Space Station (ISS). O'Hara launched to the ISS in September, 2023, riding the MS-24 Soyuz capsule with cosmonauts Oleg Kononenko and Nikolai Chub. 

O'Hara recently donned the Sokol IVA suit she will wear during MS-24's return to Earth. She is seen here wearing the suit while performing leak checks in one of the station's Roscosmos modules. While living and working aboard the orbital laboratory, O'Hara is serving as Expedition 70 Flight Engineer. Her, Kononenko and Chub are expected to scheduled to complete their crew rotation and return aboard their Soyuz capsule April 6.

One week until the total solar eclipse!

(Image credit: Josh Dinner)

Monday, April 1, 2024: We are one week away from the United States' last total solar eclipse until 2044! With only seven days to go until the April 8 eclipse, we are almost there. In this photo, the sun and moon are almost there, too. This image was captured during the 2017 total solar eclipse, in the moments leading up to totality. Just like the moon covering the sun in this photo, the U.S. is inching toward a solar eclipse that will, quite literally, sweep across the nation, putting millions in the moon's shadow and the path of totality, which will last nearly 4.5 minutes.

Related: Total solar eclipse 2024: Live updates

Archives

Check out our Image of the Day Archives for more awesome photos.

Image of the Day 2020 Archive

(Image credit: Josh Dinner)

Image of the Day 2019 Archive

(Image credit: Christina Koch/NASA)

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  • The Exoplanets Channel
    The images are truly breath-taking.
    Reply
  • rod
    The Exoplanets Channel said:
    The images are truly breath-taking.

    The Exoplanets Channel, what star and reddish exoplanet is shown in your picture, looks like about 8" angular separation? I use this site as my canonical reference to exoplanets, The Extrasolar Planets Encyclopaedia Currently 4150 exoplanets are listed.
    Reply
  • spaceguy
    yes they are
    Reply
  • swiggly
    The Exoplanets Channel said:
    The images are truly breath-taking.

    My Comet Image:

    Neowise
    Reply
  • rod
    swiggly said:
    My Comet Image:

    Neowise
    This is a very good image here. In enjoyed some recent views of NEOWISE using my 90-mm telescope at 40x early, shortly after 0415 EDT. Bifurcated tail obvious too.
    Reply
  • Helio
    The IOD image for yesterday of the Veil nebula is stunning! The graphics are such that it's almost as if it has an oil film on top. It has both 3D and texture feel to it.
    Reply
  • Jack Colter
    The was no Artemis 13 mission. It was Apollo.
    Reply
  • Astro.Letizia
    I hope they start posting these daily again! I always start my day off with the newest image but it's been a couple of months now :(
    Reply
  • Helio
    APOD is a another great source for astro eye candy.
    Reply
  • Astro.Letizia
    Helio said:
    APOD is a another great source for astro eye candy.
    Thanking you!
    Reply