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Pictures from Space! Our 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 pictures from space here, and if you're wondering what happened today in space history don't miss our awesome On This Day in Space video show here!
 

A Stellar Nursery Shines in Vela 

(Image credit: ESO)

Tuesday, January 21, 2020: Colorful stars sparkle across a sea of cosmic dust and gas in this new view of Gum 26, a star-forming region in the Milky Way galaxy. Located 20,000 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Vela, the sails, Gum 26 is a hydrogen-rich emission nebula, also known as an H II region, where collapsing clumps of dust and gas are actively forming new stars. This new image of the stellar nursery was captured by the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope in Chile. — Hanneke Weitering
  

1st Arianespace Launch of 2020

(Image credit: ESA/CNES/Arianespace/Optique Video du CSG/JM Guillon)

Friday, January 17, 2020: An Ariane 5 rocket rises between the silhouettes of two palm trees as it lifts off into the cloud-covered evening sky in Kourou, French Guiana, in this photo from Arianespace's first launch of the year. The rocket launched two communications satellites for Eutelsat and the Indian Space Research Organisation into orbit yesterday (Jan. 16) after lifting off from the Guiana Space Center at 6:05 p.m. local time (4:05 p.m. EST or 2105 GMT). — Hanneke Weitering
 

SLS under the Full Wolf Moon 

(Image credit: Ben Smegelsky/NASA)

Thursday, January 16, 2020: January's Full Wolf Moon rises behind NASA's Vehicle Assembly Building at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, in this photo by NASA photographer Ben Smegelsky. To the right of the Vehicle Assembly Building is the mobile launcher that NASA will use to launch its new Space Launch System rocket and Orion crew spacecraft, which the agency plans to use to send astronauts back to the moon in 2024. — Hanneke Weitering
 

Milky Way Shines Over Residencia

(Image credit: P. Horálek/ESO)

Wednesday, January 15, 2020: The arc of the Milky Way galaxy forms a glowing dome above the European Southern Observatory's Residencia, a hotel for astronomers that was featured in the James Bond movie "Quantum of Solace." Residencia is located on top of Cerro Paranal, a mountain in Chile's Atacama Desert that is home to the Paranal Observatory. Also featured in this photo are two neighboring galaxies known as the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, seen just below the Milky Way's glittering arc. — Hanneke Weitering
 

A Martian Winter Wonderland

(Image credit: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin)

Tuesday, January 14, 2020: Earth isn't the only planet with a frosty north pole. This image of the north pole on Mars, captured by the European Space Agency's Mars Express orbiter, shows part of the planet's polar ice cap rippled with dark-red troughs and depressions, which indicate that strong winds have been blowing in the area. Although it does not snow on Mars, storm clouds can kick dust up into the atmosphere, causing erosion that changes the appearance of the landscape over time. — Hanneke Weitering
 

Full Wolf Moon Rising

(Image credit: Stojan Stojanovski)

Monday, January 13, 2020: The Full Wolf Moon rises above the frosty mountains of Macedonia in this photo taken by Stojan Stojanovski on Friday (Jan. 10). Stojanovski captured this view of the rising moon near the town of Kuratica, shortly before a penumbral lunar eclipse cast a subtle shadow on the moon's face. (See photos of the lunar eclipse in this Space.com gallery.) — Hanneke Weitering
 

Australia's Wildfires Seen from Space

(Image credit: NASA)

Friday, January 10, 2020: Thick clouds of brown smoke from Australia's bushfires spread across the Tasman Sea in this photo captured by an astronaut at the International Space Station. The photo was taken on Jan. 4, when the station was orbiting 269 miles (433 kilometers) above the Tasman Sea. — Hanneke Weitering
 

The Swan Nebula

(Image credit: NASA/SOFIA/JPL-Caltech/ESA/Herschel/Lim, De Buizer, & Radomski et al.)

Thursday, January 9, 2020: The Swan Nebula, one of the biggest and brightest star forming regions in the Milky Way galaxy, only recently formed into the bird-shaped cloud we see today, new images have revealed. This composite image of the Swan Nebula combines data from NASA's flying telescope SOFIA (the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy), NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope and the European Space Agency's Herschel Space Telescope. In this image, astronomers discovered nine new protostars, or areas where dust and gas are collapsing to form new stars, and they were able to determine the ages of different features within the nebula. 

"The central region is the oldest, most evolved and likely formed first," NASA officials said in a statement. "Next, the northern area formed, while the southern region is the youngest. Even though the northern area is older than the southern region, the radiation and stellar winds from previous generations of stars has disturbed the material there, preventing it from collapsing to form the next generation." — Hanneke Weitering
 

(Image credit: SpaceX)

Wednesday, January 8, 2020: A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket soars into space with 60 of the company's Starlink internet satellites in this long-exposure photo of the launch on Monday (Jan. 6). The rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 9:19 p.m. EST (0219 GMT Tuesday) before returning to Earth for a drone-ship landing, marking the fourth time that this particular booster has flown. — Hanneke Weitering
 

Hubble Eyes a Gigantic Galaxy

(Image credit: NASA/ESA/B. Holwerda (University of Louisville))

Tuesday, January 7, 2020: This new image from the Hubble Space Telescope features the enormous spiral galaxy UGC 2885, which may be the largest known galaxy in the local universe. Located 232 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Perseus, UGC 2885 is about 2.5 times the width of the Milky Way and contains 10 times the number of stars. However, it's a relatively quiet galaxy, with new stars forming at only half the rate of new stars in the Milky Way. — Hanneke Weitering
 

Meteors and Auroras Seen from Space

(Image credit: Christina Koch/NASA/Twitter)

Monday, January 6, 2020: As the annual Quadrantid meteor shower rained "shooting stars" over Earth this weekend, NASA astronaut Christina Koch captured this view of several meteors blazing through the atmosphere beneath the International Space Station. Meanwhile, brilliant lime-green auroras light up the sky in the distance, together with a soft orange airglow. — Hanneke Weitering
 

A Burst of Color in Chile's Night Sky

(Image credit: Yuri Beletsky/ESO)

Friday, January 3, 2020: Green and yellow airglow topped with the shimmering core of the Milky Way galaxy provide a beautiful backdrop for a telescope at the Paranal Observatory in Chile in this image by European Southern Observatory (ESO) astrophotographer Yuri Beletsky. The telescope pictured here is one of four small auxiliary telescopes for ESO's Very Large Telescope array. — Hanneke Weitering
 

Stars and Airglow Over Iran 

(Image credit: NASA)

Thursday, January 2, 2020: A vivid, green airglow blankets Earth's upper atmosphere under the starry night sky in this view from the International Space Station. An astronaut on board captured this image on Dec. 29, when the station was orbiting about 260 miles (420 kilometers) above northern Iran, as the orbiting laboratory was about to pass over the Caspian Sea. — Hanneke Weitering
 

A Galaxy in Berenice's Hair

(Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, I. Karachentsev et al.)

Wednesday, January 1, 2020: The Hubble Space Telescope captured this stunning view of the spiral galaxy NGC 4455 in the constellation Coma Berenices, or Berenice's Hair, using its Advanced Camera for Surveys. The image was released Dec. 30. The galaxy is 45 million light-years away and its home constellation is the only star pattern to be named after an actual person from history: Queen Berenice II of Egypt.

According to ESA, Berenice was a queen of the ancient Greek city Cyrene (in what is now modern-day Libya) and later ruled Egypt after marrying its ruler, her cousin Ptolemy III Euergetes. She famously offered locks of her hair to the gods for Ptolemy's safe return from battle. — Tariq Malik
 

Swirls of Jupiter

(Image credit: Image data: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS Image processing by Björn Jónsson, © CC NC SA)

Tuesday, December 31, 2019: A swirling band of clouds churns on Jupiter in this amazing image from NASA's Juno spacecraft currently orbiting the largest planet in our solar system. This image is an enhanced view by citizen scientist Björn Jónsson, who processed an image taken on Nov. 3 by Juno's JunoCam as the spacecraft was 3,200 miles (5,200 km) above Jupiter's cloudtops. 

Small "pop-up" storms are visible rising above the lighter areas in the clouds. They're most noticeable at the right, according to a NASA description. — Tariq Malik
 

A colorful sky

(Image credit: ESO/Y. Beletsky)

Monday, December 30, 2019: The skies above the European Southern Observatory's Paranal Observatory in Chile's Atacama Desert are ablaze with color in this dazzling photo by photographer Yuri Beletsky released by ESO Dec. 30.  In the foreground is one of ESO's Auxiliary Telescopes (ATs), which are used to make up the Very Large Telescope (VLT), bathed in an eerie yellow-green glow while the Milky Way glitters overhead. — Tariq Malik
 

A Stellar Snowflake

(Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/P.S. Teixeira (Center for Astrophysics))

Friday, December 27, 2019: This view from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows a cosmic snowflake, an intricate structure that forms part of the so-called Christmas Tree Cluster. "The newly revealed infant stars appear as pink and red specks toward the center and appear to have formed in regularly spaced intervals along linear structures in a configuration that resembles the spokes of a wheel or the pattern of a snowflake. Hence, astronomers have nicknamed this the 'Snowflake Cluster,' NASA officials explained in an image description. The Spitzer Space Telescope is an infrared space observatory.  — Tariq Malik
 

A Christmas Eve Launch

(Image credit: CC Yuzhny/Roscosmom)

Thursday, December 26, 2019: A dazzling view of the first stage engines of a Russian Proton rocket firing to launch the Electro-L 3 weather satellite into orbit from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan on Dec. 24, 2019. You can see a video of the Christmas Eve launch here, along with a mission overview. — Tariq Malik
 

White Christmas

(Image credit: Luca Parmitano/European Space Agency)

Wednesday, December 25, 2019: The Earth is a snowy winter wonderland in this stunning photo from European Space Agency astronaut Luca Parmitano on the International Space Station. Parmitano snapped this photo on Christmas Eve (Dec. 24) posting it on Twitter with a holiday message for all. 

"Winter landscapes: The moon rises over a snow covered world," he wrote. Parmitano commands the space station's Expedition 61 crew. You can see their Christmas and holiday video message from space here! — Tariq Malik
 

Hubble Spots a Galactic Bulge

(Image credit: ESA/NASA/Hubble/P. Erwin et al.)

Tuesday, December 24, 2019: The spiral galaxy IC 2051, seen here in an image from the Hubble Space Telescope, is shaped like a flying saucer, with a bulge of stars at the center of its flat disk. This type of galactic bulge is believed to influence the growth of supermassive black holes that lurk at the center of most spiral galaxies, and they play a key role in how galaxies evolve. — Hanneke Weitering
 

Starliner Returns

(Image credit: Aubrey Gemignani/NASA)

Monday, December 23, 2019: Boeing's CST-100 Starliner ejects its heat shield while parachuting down to Earth before its historic landing on Sunday (Dec. 22). The uncrewed capsule touched down safely at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, at 7:58 a.m. EST (1258 GMT), after spending only about 48 hours in space. It was originally scheduled to touch down six days later after a visit to the International Space Station, but Starliner never reached the orbiting laboratory after an anomaly during the launch left it in the wrong orbit. — Hanneke Weitering
 

Starliner Launches to Space

(Image credit: Joel Kowsky/NASA)

Friday, December 20, 2019: A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying Boeing's CST-100 Starliner spacecraft soars into space after launching from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida this morning. Down below (from left to right), Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, left, ULA president and CEO Tory Bruno and NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine observe from NASA's Kennedy Space Center. The flight went according to plan until about 15 minutes after liftoff, when Starliner could not complete its orbit insertion burn due to an anomaly. Starliner was supposed to dock with the International Space Station on Saturday (Dec. 21), but it will now make an early landing on Sunday (Dec. 22) without having reached the space station. — Hanneke Weitering
 

A 'Candy Cane' in the Milky Way

(Image credit: NASA GSFC)

Thursday, December 19, 2019: NASA scientists have spotted what looks like a candy cane-shaped cloud of glowing gas near the center of the Milky Way. The "candy cane" is about 190 light-years long and contains ionized gas that emits radio waves. Astronomers discovered it using an instrument known as the Goddard-IRAM Superconducting 2-Millimeter Observer, or GISMO, together with a radio telescope on Pico Veleta in Spain. You can see the full, annotated version of this image here. — Hanneke Weitering
 

CHEOPS Launches on Exoplanet Mission

(Image credit: Arianespace)

Wednesday, December 18, 2019: An Arianespace Soyuz rocket lifts off from the Guiana Space Center in French Guiana, carrying the European Space Agency's newest exoplanet-hunting satellite. The Characterizing Exoplanet Satellite (CHEOPS) mission, which launched this morning at 3:54 a.m. EST (5:54 a.m. local time; 0854 GMT) will study alien worlds to learn more about their characteristics and to determine which, if any, may be hospitable to extraterrestrial life. — Hanneke Weitering
 

Psychedelic Swirls on Jupiter

(Image credit: Prateek Sarpal/NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS)

Tuesday, December 17, 2019: Jupiter goes psychedelic in this new, full-disk image from NASA's Juno spacecraft. Citizen scientist Prateek Sarpal created this view of Jupiter using data that the orbiter's JunoCam instrument collected during its 22nd perijove, or close approach, on Sept. 12. Sarpal named this creation, "A mind of limits, a camera of thoughts." You can find more funky Jupiter art and raw images from Juno that are free to download and edit in NASA's JunoCam portal. — Hanneke Weitering
 

Hubble Spots Interstellar Comet Borisov

(Image credit: NASA/ESA/Hubble/D. Jewitt (UCLA))

Monday, December 16, 2019: The interstellar comet Borisov appears to come face-to-face with a distant spiral galaxy in this image from the Hubble Space Telescope. Hubble captured this image on Dec. 12, as the interstellar comet was racing through the inner solar system. At the time, the object was about 260 million miles (420 million kilometers) from Earth, while the unnamed background galaxy (officially designated 2MASX J10500165-0152029), is nearly half a billion light-years away.  The galaxy appears smudged because Hubble was tracking the motion of the comet, which was zooming through space at a speed of about 109,000 mph (175,000 km/h). — Hanneke Weitering
 

Algae Blooms Seen from Space

(Image credit: ESA)

Friday, December 13, 2019: Green algae blooms swirl across the Baltic Sea in this image from the European Space Agency's Copernicus Sentinel-2 satellite. The green color comes from chlorophyll in the phytoplankton, or microscopic plants that drift at the surface of the water. The chlorophyll makes these algae blooms visible from space, allowing satellites to track the tiny organisms. — Hanneke Weitering
 

'Cloudy with a Chance of Dust'

(Image credit: ESO)

Thursday, December 12, 2019: Thick clouds of interstellar dust and gas permeate the star forming region RCW 36, also known as Gum 20, in this deep-space image from the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile. Located about 2,300 light-years away from Earth in the constellation of Vela (the sails), RCW 36 is part of a much larger star formation complex, known as the Vela Molecular Ridge. Astronomers used an instrument on VLT called the Focal Reducer and low dispersion Spectrograph (FORS) to capture this image of RCW 36, which is in some parts so thick with dust and gas that background light cannot pass through. These dark regions are the richest with star formation. — Hanneke Weitering
 

Dragon Approaches the Space Station

(Image credit: NASA)

Wednesday, December 11, 2019: As SpaceX's Dragon CRS-19 cargo resupply ship approached the International Space Station, astronauts used the Canadarm2 robotic arm to reach out and grapple the incoming spacecraft. The Dragon, which docked with the station on Sunday (Dec. 8), carried more than 5,700 lbs. (2,585 kilograms) of supplies and science experiments for the crew of Expedition 61. — Hanneke Weitering
 

A Swirling Galaxy

(Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, D. Rosario et al.)

Tuesday, December 10, 2019: Scientists used images captured by the Hubble Space Telescope's Wide Field Camera 3 to piece together this portrait of a galaxy called NGC 3175. The galaxy has given its clunky name to a cluster of neighbors that astronomers consider quite similar to our own galaxy clique, the Local Group. But NGC 3175 and its companions are located about 50 million light-years away from us. -- Meghan Bartels
 

A Triumphant Return

(Image credit: SpaceX )

Monday, December 9, 2019: A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket booster makes a triumphant return to Port Canaveral, Florida on Dec. 7, 2019, two days after launching a Dragon cargo ship for NASA on the CRS-19 mission. This Falcon 9 rocket made its first flight on the CRS-19 mission. It launched from Space Launch Complex-40 on Dec. 5, then returned to Earth to a pinpoint landing on the SpaceX drone ship Of Course I Still Love You. The Dragon capsule on the mission made its third trip to space. It arrived at the station on Sunday, Dec. 8. -- Tariq Malik
 

A Cosmic Reflection

(Image credit: B. Tafreshi/ESO)

Friday, December 6, 2019: A meteor blazes across the Milky Way galaxy in this colorful view from the La Silla Observatory in Chile's Atacama Desert, captured by European Southern Observatory photo ambassador Babak Tafreshi. The starry night sky and orange airglow near the horizon are reflected in the dish of the Swedish-ESO Submillimetre Telescope. — Hanneke Weitering

Australia's Wildfires Continue to Rage

(Image credit: NASA Earth Observatory/Lauren Dauphin/EOSDIS/LANCE/GIBS/Worldview/Suomi NPP)

Thursday, December 5, 2019: Wildfires have been raging across the southern and eastern states of Australia since October, and new imagery from the NOAA-NASA Suomi NPP weather satellite show plumes of smoke billowing from multiple fires near the coast of New South Wales. Another Suomi-NPP image captured in November show smoke from Australia's wildfires being swept across the South Atlantic Ocean, and that smoke has since spread to halfway around the world, NASA officials said in a statement. The satellite acquired this image on Wednesday (Dec. 4) at 2:45 p.m. local time, when there were 116 actively burning bush and grass fires in New South Wales alone. — Hanneke Weitering
 

Spacewalker Passes Over Venezuela 

(Image credit: NASA)

Wednesday, December 4, 2019: European Space Agency astronaut Luca Parmitano passes over the Paraguaná Peninsula of Venezuela while working outside the International Space Station on Monday (Dec. 2). This was the third spacewalk that Parmitano conducted together with NASA astronaut Drew Morgan. The spacewalking duo have been working to repair a particle detector experiment outside the station known as the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer. — Hanneke Weitering
 

Milky Way's Galactic Neighbor Shines Over La Silla

The Milky Way galaxy and one of its cosmic neighbors shimmer over the La Silla Observatory in Chile in this night sky photo by European Southern Observatory photographer Petr Horálek. That galactic neighbor is a dwarf galaxy known as the Large Magellanic Cloud, and directly beneath it is the 7-foot (2.2 meters) MPG-ESO telescope, which scans the cosmos for high-energy gamma ray bursts, or the most powerful explosions in the universe. The smaller telescope on the left is the 3-foot (1 meter) Schmidt telescope, which has been studying galaxies, star clusters, dwarf planets and supernovas for nearly 50 years.

(Image credit: P. Horálek/ESO)

Tuesday, December 3, 2019: The Milky Way galaxy and one of its cosmic neighbors shimmer over the La Silla Observatory in Chile in this night sky photo by European Southern Observatory photographer Petr Horálek. That galactic neighbor is a  dwarf galaxy known as the Large Magellanic Cloud, and directly beneath it is the 7-foot (2.2 meters) MPG-ESO telescope, which scans the cosmos for high-energy gamma ray bursts, or the most powerful explosions in the universe. The smaller telescope on the left is the 3-foot (1 meter) Schmidt telescope, which has been studying galaxies, star clusters, dwarf planets and supernovas for nearly 50 years. — Hanneke Weitering
 

Martian North Pole

(Image credit: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin/Kevin M. Gill)

Monday, December 2, 2019: Spiral troughs of ice and dust swirl around the Red Planet's polar ice cap in this image of the planet's north pole. Citizen scientist Kevin Gill created this map using images from the European Space Agency's Mars Express orbiter. Along with the swirling ice pattern, which scientists believe was created by winds, the image features a deep canyon known as Chasma Boreale that cuts straight through the ice cap. — Hanneke Weitering
 

Two Galactic Neighbors

While it's common for galaxies to coexist peacefully in the same cosmic neighborhood, these two galaxies are a bit too close for comfort. The galaxies NGC 6286 (right) and NGC 6285 (left), collectively known as Arp 293, are tugging at each other with their mutually strong gravitational attraction, dragging wisps of gas and dust out from the galaxies and into interstellar space. This causes the galaxies to appear "smudged" and blurred from our perspective on Earth. The Hubble Space Telescope captured this image of the galactic pair, which are located more than over 250 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Draco.

(Image credit: ESA/NASA/Hubble/K. Larson et al.)

Friday, November 29, 2019: While it's common for galaxies to coexist peacefully in the same cosmic neighborhood, these two galaxies are a bit too close for comfort. The galaxies NGC 6286 (right) and NGC 6285 (left), collectively known as Arp 293, are tugging at each other with their mutually strong gravitational attraction, dragging wisps of gas and dust out from the galaxies and into interstellar space. This causes the galaxies to appear "smudged" and blurred from our perspective on Earth. The Hubble Space Telescope captured this image of the galactic pair, which are located more than over 250 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Draco. — Hanneke Weitering
 

Spacewalker Floats Above the Clouds

With his special space camera in hand, NASA astronaut Drew Morgan is seen working outside the International Space Station during his spacewalk with European Space Agency astronaut Luca Parmitano on Nov. 22. This was their second spacewalk together in which they worked to repair an ailing dark matter experiment called the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer. The spacewalking duo will head out again for their third spacewalk together on Dec. 2.

(Image credit: NASA/ESA)

Wednesday, November 27, 2019: With his special space camera in hand, NASA astronaut Drew Morgan is seen working outside the International Space Station during his spacewalk with European Space Agency astronaut Luca Parmitano on Nov. 22. This was their second spacewalk together in which they worked to repair an ailing dark matter experiment called the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer. The spacewalking duo will head out again for their third spacewalk together on Dec. 2. — Hanneke Weitering
 

Hubble Eyes an Emission Galaxy 

(Image credit: ESA/NASA/Hubble.NASA/D. Rosario et al.)

Tuesday, November 26, 2019: Looming some 135 million light-years from Earth in the constellation of Centaurus is the bright emission line galaxy NGC 3749, seen here in an image from the Hubble Space Telescope. Astronomers can learn a lot about a galaxy by studying its spectrum of light, particularly the wavelengths of light that are emitted or absorbed by elements it contains. NGC 3749 displays strong emission lines, which means that it is "bursting with star formation and energetic stellar newborns," the European Space Agency said in a statement. — Hanneke Weitering
 

Orion Enters the Super Guppy

(Image credit: Kim Shiflett/NASA)

Monday, November 25, 2019: NASA's Orion spacecraft is loaded inside the belly of the Super Guppy aircraft at the Launch and Landing Facility runway at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, on Nov. 21. The spacecraft, which will fly on the first Artemis mission, was transported to NASA's Plum Brook Station in Sandusky, Ohio, for testing. — Hanneke Weitering
 

Luca Parmitano 'Rides' Canadarm2

European Space Agency astronaut Luca Parmitano "stands" on the end of the International Space Station's Canadarm2 robotic arm during the first of four spacewalks to repair the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer experiment together with NASA astronaut Drew Morgan, on Nov. 15, 2019.

(Image credit: ESA)

Friday, November 22, 2019: European Space Agency astronaut Luca Parmitano "stands" on the end of the International Space Station's Canadarm2 robotic arm during the first of four spacewalks to repair the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer experiment together with NASA astronaut Drew Morgan, on Nov. 15. The spacewalking duo is at it again today; they set out this morning at 7:02 a.m. EST (1200 GMT) for the second spacewalk, which is expected to last about 6.5 hours. You can watch it live here on Space.com. — Hanneke Weitering
 

Hubble Spots a Strange Spiral Galaxy

(Image credit: NASA/ESA/Hubble/A. Seth et al.)

Thursday, November 21, 2019: The spiral galaxy NGC 772, seen here in a new image from the Hubble Space Telescope, bears some striking similarities to the Milky Way galaxy that we call home, with its spiral arms, glowing core and dark dust lanes. But there are some key differences between NGC 772 and the Milky Way. 

For one, NGC 772 lacks the kind of bar-shaped structure of stars like the one that stretches across the center of the Milky Way. NGC 772 is classified as a peculiar, unbarred spiral galaxy, which means that it is "somewhat odd in size, shape or composition," according to NASA. Located about 130 million light-years away from Earth in the constellation Aries, NGC 772 is about twice the size of the Milky Way. — Hanneke Weitering
 

Bye Bye, Debris Shield!

The debris shield that once protected NASA's Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer from micrometeoroid impacts floats away from the International Space Station after two astronauts removed it and flung it into space during a spacewalk on Nov. 15. European Space Agency astronaut Luca Parmitano used special tools to remove 13 screws and 10 fasteners to release the debris shield, after which NASA astronaut Drew Morgan jettisoned the shield, tossing it toward Earth to burn up in the atmosphere. This was the first of four spacewalks that these two astronauts are conducting to repair the ailing particle detector experiment, which was not designed to be serviced by astronauts in orbit, making these some of the most challenging spacewalks ever.

(Image credit: NASA)

Wednesday, November 20, 2019: The debris shield that once protected NASA's Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer from micrometeoroid impacts floats away from the International Space Station after two astronauts removed it and flung it into space during a spacewalk on Nov. 15. European Space Agency astronaut Luca Parmitano used special tools to remove 13 screws and 10 fasteners to release the debris shield, after which NASA astronaut Drew Morgan jettisoned the shield, tossing it toward Earth to burn up in the atmosphere. This was the first of four spacewalks that these two astronauts are conducting to repair the ailing particle detector experiment, which was not designed to be serviced by astronauts in orbit, making these some of the most challenging spacewalks ever. — Hanneke Weitering
 

A Vista Under the Milky Way

(Image credit: B. Tafreshi/ESO)

Tuesday, November 19, 2019: The Milky Way glistens above the Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy (VISTA) at the Paranal Observatory in northern Chile in this stunning night-sky view by European Southern Observatory photo ambassador Babak Tafreshi. Located on a rocky mountaintop in the Atacama Desert, VISTA is the world's largest telescope built to survey the sky in near-infrared light. While its surroundings are barren, VISTA's altitude and surroundings are ideal for astronomy, with almost no cloud cover or light pollution to soil the view. — Hanneke Weitering
 

Space Station Selfie

(Image credit: Luca Parmitano/ESA/Twitter)

Monday, November 18, 2019: A view of nearly the entire International Space Station reflects off the helmet visor of European Space Agency astronaut Luca Parmitano in this "space selfie" he took while on a spacewalk last Friday (Nov. 15). He and NASA astronaut Drew Morgan spent 6 hours and 39 minutes working on the complicated repair of an ailing particle detector experiment known as the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS). The duo will embark on the second of four spacewalks on Friday, Nov. 22, when they will continue working on AMS. — Hanneke Weitering

Related: The Best Astronaut Selfies in Space
 

Lunar Halo Over La Silla

(Image credit: B. Tafreshi/ESO)

Friday, November 15, 2019: A lunar "halo" lights up the night sky above the 3.6-meter telescope at the La Silla Observatory in Chile. This phenomenon happens when the moon is at an altitude of about 22 degrees above the horizon, where light refracts through icy cirrus clouds. "Light rays that do this tend to 'bunch up' at the angle that represents the least amount of deviation from their original path. For the particular shape of ice crystal lurking within the cirrus clouds, this minimum deviation angle happens to be around 22 degrees," ESO officials said in a description. — Hanneke Weitering
 

Apollo 12: A Happy Moon Return

(Image credit: NASA)

Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019: Apollo 12 astronauts Pete Conrad (front) Richard Gordon (left) and Alan Bean (center top in background) walk out to the Astrovan for the trip to the launch pad at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida ahead of their Nov. 14, 1969 launch. The launch of Apollo 12, 50 years ago today, kicked off NASA's second crewed moon landing mission, and the first pinpoint lunar landing. Conrad, the mission's commander, and Bean as lunar module pilot landed their Intrepid lander within a short moonwalk of NASA's Surveyor 3 spacecraft. — Tariq Malik

Related: Celebrate NASA's Apollo 12 50th Anniversary with These Webcasts
More:
Apollo 12: How a Passionate Scientist's Keen Eye Led to the First Pinpoint Moon Landing 50 Years Ago
 

Goodbye, Ryugu!

(Image credit: JAXA)

Wednesday, November 13, 2019: Japan's Hayabusa2 spacecraft departed from the asteroid Ryugu last night to begin its journey back to Earth. This is one of the photos Hayabusa2 took of Ryugu shortly after its departure. The spacecraft will continue to do "farewell observations" of the asteroid as it drifts farther away in space. It will arrive back on Earth at the end of next year with samples from the asteroid's surface. You can see the latest images from Hayabusa2 here. — Hanneke Weitering
 

Tiny Mercury Transits the Sun

(Image credit: ESA/Royal Observatory of Belgium)

Tuesday, November 12, 2019: Can you spot the teeny-tiny planet Mercury in this photo of the sun? The European Space Agency's Proba-2 satellite captured this image of Mercury's transit yesterday at 10:43 a.m. EST (1543 GMT), about half an hour after Mercury passed the halfway point in its 5.5-hour journey across the sun's disk. The planet appears as a black dot just above and to the right of the sun's center. Still struggling to see it? You can find more photos of the rare Mercury transit in this gallery. — Hanneke Weitering
 

Mercury's Transit Begins

(Image credit: NASA/SDO/HMI/AIA)

Monday, November 11, 2019: The tiny planet Mercury scoots across the sun's hot corona and onto its bright disk to mark the beginning of the planet's rare transit this morning. The transit began at 7:35 a.m. EST (1235 GMT), when Mercury made its way across the sun's edge. It will spend 5 hours and 28 minutes traveling across the face of the sun today, and you can watch it live online. — Hanneke Weitering
 

Hubble Spots a Cosmic Kaleidoscope 

(Image credit: NASA/ESA/E. Rivera-Thorsen )

Friday, November 8, 2019: When the Hubble Space Telescope turned its gaze toward the remote galaxy known as the "Sunburst Arc," it saw not one but 12 separate images of the lone cosmic object. That's because there's a massive galaxy cluster in the foreground warping the light with its intense gravitational pull. This illusion is known as gravitational lensing, a phenomenon that Albert Einstein first described in his theory of general relativity. "This 'funhouse mirror' effect not only stretches the background galaxy image, but also creates multiple images of the same galaxy," NASA officials said in a statement. — Hanneke Weitering
 

A Jovian Marble

(Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Kevin M. Gill)

Thursday, November 7, 2019: Jupiter looks like a big, swirly space marble in this composite image from NASA's Juno spacecraft. Citizen scientist Kevin Gill processed this image using data collected by Juno during its 23rd close flyby of Jupiter, called a perijove, on Sunday (Nov. 3). — Hanneke Weitering
 

S.S. Alan Bean Arrives at the Space Station

(Image credit: NASA)

Wednesday, November 6, 2019: The International Space Station's Canadarm2 robotic arm grapples an incoming Cygnus cargo spacecraft in this photo taken by an Expedition 61 astronaut. The Cygnus spacecraft, named the S.S. Alan Bean, arrived at the orbiting laboratory on Monday (Nov. 4) carrying about 8,200 lbs. (3,700 kilograms) of supplies and science experiments for the six-person crew. — Hanneke Weitering
 

A Glimpse of the Cosmos

(Image credit: B. Tafreshi/ESO)

Tuesday, November 5, 2019: The Milky Way galaxy peeks through the opening of the VLT Survey Telescope (VST) in this image captured from inside the observatory by European Southern Observatory photo ambassador Babak Tafreshi. Located at the Paranal Observatory in Chile, VST is the largest telescope on Earth that observes the sky in visible light, or wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation that are visible to the human eye. Pictured front and center in this view is the OmegaCAM instrument, which can capture wide-field images of up to 256 million pixels. — Hanneke Weitering
 

Starliner Aces Pad Abort Test

(Image credit: NASA JSC/Boeing)

Monday, November 4, 2019: Boeing's CST-100 Starliner capsule floats back down to Earth above the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico following a successful pad abort test this morning. Today's mission was an uncrewed test of the spacecraft's abort system, which would bring astronauts to safety in the event of an anomaly during launch. — Hanneke Weitering
 

Hubble Eyes a 'Lonely' Galaxy

(Image credit: ESA/NASA/Hubble)

Friday, November 1, 2019: The spiral galaxy NGC 1706 may look a bit isolated drifting through the cosmos in this Hubble Space Telescope image, but this lonely galaxy has no shortage of neighbors. NGC 1706 belongs to a group of dozens of galaxies, all of which are held together by their mutual gravitational pull. It is located about 230 million light-years away from Earth in the constellation of Dorado, the Swordfish. — Hanneke Weitering
 

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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