Image of the Day

Space Hippo!


Friday, January 11, 2019This hippo-shaped near-Earth asteroid, called 2003 SD220, was spotted by NASA's Goldstone antenna, the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico and the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia. — Sarah Lewin

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Earth, Moon and Bennu

NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona/Lockheed Martin Space

Thursday, January 10, 2019This snapshot from NASA's OSIRIS-REx probe on its way to asteroid Bennu shows the asteroid at the top right, but also a couple of more familiar specks in the bottom left: Earth and the moon! OSIRIS-REx captured this photo Dec. 19, 2018. — Sarah Lewin

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On the Move

DFKI Robotics Innovation Centre

Wednesday, January 9, 2019: Europe's largest rover field test saw the self-driving SherpaTT rover exploring a Mars-like stretch of land in Morocco. The test was run by a team from Germany's DFKI Robotics Innovation Center. — Sarah Lewin

Orion's Dragon


Tuesday, January 8, 2019: A 3D view of the Orion nebula taken by the flying SOFIA Observatory reveals the complex structures sculpted by the forming stars' powerful stellar wind. This slice, presented at the American Astronomical Society's winter meeting, is reminiscent of a dragon. — Sarah Lewin

Crew Dragon Emerges


Monday, January 7, 2019: A look at SpaceX's first Crew Dragon spacecraft attached to its Falcon 9 rocket as both sit inside their hangar at Launch Pad 39A of NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida in January 2019. The rocket is set for its first uncrewed test flight this month. — Sarah Lewin

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Hello, Moon!


Friday, January 4, 2019: Behold: the far side of the moon! China's Chang'e 4 probe became the first spacecraft to successfully execute a soft landing on the far side of the moon on Wednesday (Jan. 2). The mission consists of both a lander and a rover, named Yutu 2, which is seen here driving off from the landing site. — Hanneke Weitering

So Long, MU69!

NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

Thursday, January 3, 2019: NASA's New Horizons spacecraft captured this image of the Kuiper Belt object MU69, nicknamed "Ultima Thule," shortly after its close flyby on Jan. 1. At the time, New Horizons was about 92,457 miles (148,795 kilometers) away from the bilobed space rock. — Hanneke Weitering

Crescent Moon over NYC

Rajat Kumar Pal

Wednesday, January 2, 2019: A tiny sliver of the waxing crescent moon gleams over New York's Statue of Liberty in this photo taken by Rajat Pal. While the sun illuminates only a small portion of the Earth-facing side of the moon, the rest of the moon's face is faintly illuminated by light reflecting off the Earth's surface, a phenomenon known as Earthshine. Pal captured this photo of the one-day-old moon on Dec. 8, 2018. — Hanneke Weitering

A Star is Born

ESA/NASA/Hubble/K. Stapelfeldt

Tuesday, January 1, 2019: These blue splotches of interstellar dust and gas, lurking 1,000 light-years away in the constellation Perseus, are the "smoking gun" of a newborn star. Known as Herbig-Haro objects, these short-lived clouds form when ionized gas ejected from a newborn star collides with dust and gas in the surrounding nebula. The new star, named SVS 13, is located in the top left of this image from the Hubble Space Telescope. — Hanneke Weitering

Image of the Day Archives

NASA, ESA and Orsola De Marco (Macquarie University)

For older Image of the Day pictures, please visit the Image of the Day archives. Pictured: NGC 2467.

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