A baby star
Feb. 25, 2021: In this image, snapped by the Hubble Space Telescope, you can see two Herbig-Haro objects, which are created when thin, stringy jets of ionized gas shooting out of stars collides with nearby clouds of gas and dust. The Herbig-Haro objects here, HH46 and HH47, were spotted in the constellation Vela (the sails), a whopping 1,400 light-years from Earth. -- Chelsea Gohd
Feb. 24, 2021: In this image taken from space, you can see Mount Etna in Italy, one of the most active volcanoes in the entire world, erupting. The image was captured Feb. 18 by the European Space Agency's Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission, which is made up of two different orbiting, Earth-observing satellites. The volcano erupted twice within less than 48 hours, spewing ash and spouting a fountain of lava, erupting Feb. 16 and then again Feb. 18. -- Chelsea Gohd
Falling to Mars
Feb. 23, 2021: This still is from a video NASA released yesterday (Feb. 22); the first video from its Perseverance rover, which landed in Jezero Crater on the Martian surface Feb. 18, 2021. Using cameras from the rover in addition to cameras on the supersonic parachute and "Skycrane" that helped to slow down and lower the craft to the Red Planet's surface, NASA was able to show us back on Earth what it was like for Perseverance to actually land on Mars. -- Chelsea Gohd
A spectacular docking
Feb. 22, 2021: Early this morning, at about 4:40 a.m. EST (0940 GMT), JAXA astronaut Soichi Noguchi captured the Cygnus cargo vessel, which launched to the International Space Station on Feb. 20. Noguchi snapped this photo as the craft neared the space station. The Cygnus NG-15 cargo ship, also dubbed the S.S. Katherine Johnson, is named after Katherine Johnson, the trailblazing NASA mathematician and "hidden figure" whose calculations made John Glenn's historic first orbital flight possible. The craft carried 8,200 lbs (3,719 kilograms) or cargo including crew gear, food and scientific equipment to the seven astronauts currently living and working on the station. -- Chelsea Gohd
Making history on Mars
Feb. 19, 2021: A camera aboard the descent stage on board NASA's Perseverance rover snapped this still image as the craft barreled towards the surface of Mars during its historic landing yesterday (Feb. 18). A suite of several cameras captured video and images of the touchdown. In this shot, you can see the rover attached to the Skycrane that is lowering it to the surface. The Skycrane lowered the rover to the ground after a supersonic parachute slowed the rover down from searing speeds as it came barreling through the Martian atmosphere. -- Chelsea Gohd
Feb. 16, 2021: Valentine Island in northern Western Australia is a swirling mix of blues and reddish browns, as seen from space by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission. The mission, which is made up of two satellites, imaged the tiny island for Valentine's Day. Valentine Island is just about 1 mile (1.60 kilometers) long and 0.15 miles (250 meters) wide and can be found in the King Sound, a large gulf that has one of the highest tides in all of Australia. -- Chelsea Gohd
On the edge of a crater
Feb. 11, 2021: In this image, taken by the Color and Stereo Surface Imaging System (CaSSIS) onboard the European Space Agency's ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter, shows the southeast wall of a small crater on Mars. The crater is found just about a couple hundred miles away from Hellas, a giant impact crater on the planet's surface. This smaller crater stretches about 7.5 miles (12 kilometers) across. The orbiter's photo shows a wide range of colors, which indicate the presence of different minerals in the planet's surface material. -- Chelsea Gohd
Tianwen-1 arrives at Mars!
Feb. 10, 2021: Today, China's Tianwen-1 Mars mission entered orbit around the Red Planet after a 202-day ride through space, as depicted in this animated rendering, captured from a video. Tianwen-1 consists of three major components: an orbiter, a lander and a solar-powered rover. The mission is the second to land on Mars this week, following the UAE's Hope spacecraft, which entered the planet's orbit yesterday (Feb. 9). NASA will land its Mars craft, the Perseverance rover, as part of the agency's Mars 2020 mission next week on Feb. 18. -- Chelsea Gohd
A strange galaxy lies in "The Dove"
Feb. 9, 2021: Both a starburst galaxy and a spiral galaxy, NGC 1792 can ben spotted in the constellation Columba (The Dove). In this photo, snapped by the Hubble Space Telescope, we can see the details of this strange galaxy, with blue ribbons running through it, insinuating the presence of young, hot stars and swaths of orange showing the presence of older, cooler stars.
In starbust galaxies, stars can form 10 times faster than in galaxies like our own Milky Way and when those starburst galaxies have large amounts of gas (like NGC 1792 does) these phases of rapid star production can be sparked by things like cosmic mergers. -- Chelsea Gohd
Ringing in the Martian new year
Feb. 8, 2021: Happy (Martian) new year! A new year on Mars began yesterday Feb. 7, 2021 and these images show the planet shifting over into the new year. The image on the left was taken Feb. 6 and the image on the right was taken Feb. 1, both captured by the Visual Monitoring Camera aboard the European Space Agency's Mars Express orbiting probe.
Years on Mars last about 687 Earth days, as the planet takes almost twice as long to orbit the sun. This new Mars year is designated Mars Year 36. -- Chelsea Gohd
Let it snow
Feb. 5, 2021: The European Space Agency's Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission snapped this chilly photo of New York City on Feb. 4, 2021 showing the city blanketed in snow. This recent snow storm was classified as "major" and affected a majority of the Northeast United States, with New York declaring a state of emergency for both the immense snowfall and blistering winds.
Copernicus Sentinel-2 is an Earth-observing mission made up of two satellites: Sentinel-2A and Sentinel-2B. The pair monitor and image our planet, orbiting it from space. -- Chelsea Gohd
Feb. 2, 2021: In this out-of-this-world selfie, NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins held his camera out and snapped a photo of himself during a spacewalk with fellow NASA astronaut Victor Glover on Feb. 1. "Ever wonder what an astronaut sees when out on a spacewalk? This selfie shows my view reflecting off of my visor. Takes your breath away!" Hopkins wrote on Twitter, where he shared the space selfie. -- Chelsea Gohd
Feb. 1, 2021: NASA astronaut Victor Glover can be seen outside the International Space Station on Jan. 27 on his first-ever spacewalk. Today, he joined NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins for his second spacewalk, during which they completed a variety of tasks including installing a lithium-ion battery adapter plate on the port 4 (P4) truss. This was the final installment in a long series of battery-replacement spacewalks that began as early as January, 2017. -- Chelsea Gohd