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!
 

Stunning Hubble galaxy

(Image credit: NASA/ESA/STScI/David Thilker (JHU))

Thursday, June 20, 2024: The Hubble Space Telescope is back in action, having returned to science operations but now with just one operating gyroscope. And to prove it's still got what it takes, the venerable observatory snapped a striking photo of the dusty spiral galaxy NGC 1546. — Keith Cooper

Read more: Hubble Telescope bounces back with glorious galaxy pic in '1-gyroscope mode'

The Crab's claws

(Image credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI, Tea Temim - Princeton University)

Tuesday, June 18, 2024: A new mosaic of the Crab Nebula by the mighty James Webb Space Telescope traces its "claws" in fresh, exquisite detail. For the first time, we are able to see the cage-like structures formed by countless dust grains, seen particularly prominently as fluffy magenta material in the upper right and lower left regions in Webb's image of the nebula. — Sharmila Kuthunur

Starliner seen docked at the International Space Station

(Image credit: Maxar Technologies)

Thursday, June 13, 2024: Boeing's Starliner spacecraft launched for the first time with crew aboard June 5, carrying NASA astronauts Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams to the International Space Station (ISS). During their brief stay aboard the orbital laboratory, Maxar Technologies' WorldView-3 satellite managed to zoom way in to spot the ISS hanging above the earth. In addition to the Starliner capsule, nearly all the ISS modules are clearly visible, as well as the station's new upgraded solar panels

Touting their imaging capabilities, Maxar Technologies shared this amazing photo in a social media post Wednesday, saying, "this type of imagery collection, known as non-Earth imaging (NEI), is a breakthrough capability that enables Maxar to support critical space domain awareness missions for government and commercial customers."

Koi fish for the stars

(Image credit: ESO/VPHAS+ team. Ack.: CASU)

Wednesday, June 12, 2024: A bright pink koi fish has been spotted swimming across the southern sky. The European Southern Observatory's (ESO) VLT Survey Telescope (VST) snapped a beautiful new view of the Gum 3 nebula, located about 3,600 light-years from Earth. The nebula — an interstellar cloud of gas and dust that plays a key role in the life cycle of stars — appears to take the shape of a koi fish, varieties of carp that are known for their vibrant colors. — Samantha Mathewson

Read more: Cosmic 'koi fish' swims through starry sea in stunning telescope photo

Gateway under construction

(Image credit: NASA Johnson/Stephane Corvaja)

Tuesday, June 11, 2024: The Artemis Program's future pitstop in lunar orbit, Gateway, is under construction in places all over the world. Here, a bulk of the space station's HALO (Habitation and Logistics Outpost) module hangs inside the Thales Alenia Space industrial facility in Turin, Italy. The component was photographed yesterday ahead of stress testing.

NASA astronauts dedicate Artemis 1 moon tree

An American sweetgum sapling grown from a seed that was flown around the moon during the Artemis 1 mission is seen during a moon tree dedication ceremony on Tuesday, June 4, 2024 at the United States Capitol in Washington. (Image credit: NASA/Aubrey Gemignani)

Monday, June 11, 2024: A seed that flew around the moon and back will now grow into a tree at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

On June 4, the four-person crew of NASA's Artemis 2 mission attended a dedication ceremony for an American sweetgum sapling grown from one of the Artemis 1 moon tree seeds. More than 1,000 seeds were among the payloads in the Orion spacecraft on its 26-day test flight mission that launched in November 2022

"It represents so much of our mission," said former astronaut Pam Melroy, NASA's deputy administrator during the dedication ceremony. "It's a mission that touches every one, that everyone can enjoy, that everyone can be inspired by, but also one that we have an obligation to steward and protect to go forward. This is a mission whose impact will last, just like this tree, not just for decades, but for centuries."

Related: 'Most unique tree here:' Artemis Moon Tree planted at US Capitol

Starliner docks with the ISS

A Boeing Starliner spacecraft approaches the the Harmony module of the International Space Station on June 6, 2024. (Image credit: NASA TV)

Friday, June 7, 2024: Boeing Starliner made it safely to the International Space Station on June 6.

This photograph shows the last seconds of Starliner's approach while the beleaguered spacecraft was autonomously piloting itself towards docking. Starliner docked with the orbiting lab at 1:34 p.m. EDT (1734 GMT), allowing NASA astronauts Butch Wilmore and Sunita Williams to begin their eight-day mission aboard the ISS.

The duo received a warm welcome as they floated into the station, receiving well-deserved hugs from the station's seven-person Expedition 71 crew made up of American astronauts and Russian cosmonauts.

Related: Boeing's 1st Starliner to carry astronauts arrives at ISS despite thruster malfunction

Boeing Starliner launches to ISS

Boeing's Starliner spacecraft launches atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket on June 5, 2024 from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. (Image credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Wednesday, June 5, 2024: After multiple delays, Boeing's Starliner spacecraft is on its way to the International Space Station.

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket launched today (June 5) at 10:52 a.m. EDT (1452 GMT) carrying Starliner and its crew, NASA astronauts Barry "Butch" Wilmore and Sunita "Suni" Williams. 

The pair will arrive at the ISS on Thursday (June 6) around 12:15 p.m. EDT (1615 GMT), where they will conduct a roughly eight-day mission testing their spacecraft while aboard the orbital lab before returning to Earth in Starliner.

Read more: Boeing's Starliner launches astronauts for 1st time in historic liftoff (photos, video)

Auroras from space!

An aurora swirls above the Indian Ocean on May 29, 2024 in this photograph from the International Space Station. (Image credit: NASA)

Tuesday, June 4, 2024: Auroras from space!

This photograph of the southern lights, or aurora australis, was taken by astronauts aboard the International Space Station as the orbital lab was some 266 miles (428 km) above and due south of Australia's island state of Tasmania.

Like the northern lights, the southern lights are created when charged particles from the sun interact with Earth's atmosphere. Our planet's magnetic field directs these particles towards the poles, which is why aurora phenomena are most often seen at higher latitudes near the Arctic and Antarctica.

Related: We may have just witnessed some of the strongest auroras in 500 years

Planetary alignment on June 1

Astrophotographer Josh Dury captured a planetary alignment on June 1, 2024 from Crooks Peak in Somerset, England.  (Image credit: Josh Dury)

Monday, June 3, 2024: A planetary alignment visible on the morning of June 1, 2024 made for some excellent astrophotography.

Josh Dury captured this image from Crooks Peak in Somerset, England, taking multiple exposures and combining them into this one composite photograph.

"On Saturday morning when I captured this photograph, I was amazed to see Saturn, the moon and Mars. I needed to capture separate exposures in order to capture the fainter planets as well as Jupiter, Uranus and Mercury closer to the glare of the sun; this image is therefore a composite to capture this perspective," Dury wrote.

"It is quite amazing in taking a moment to step back and appreciate the sheer scale and perspective of our place in the universe," he added.

Related: Will a 'rare' lineup of planets be visible to the naked eye in the night sky on June 3?

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