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Pictures from Space! Our Image of the Day

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Thursday, April 4, 2019: When Russia launched the Progress 72 cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station this morning, the Expedition 59 crew could see the Soyuz rocket's plume from about 250 miles (400 kilometers) above the Earth. Canadian Space Agency astronaut David Saint-Jacques, one of the six crewmembers currently at the station, tweeted this photo as the Progress cargo ship began its 3-hour trip to the orbiting lab. "Fresh supplies coming our way!" he said.

(Image credit: NASA/CSA/David Saint-Jacques/Twitter)

Cargo Launch Seen from Space

Thursday, April 4, 2019: When Russia launched the Progress 72 cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station this morning, the Expedition 59 crew could see the Soyuz rocket's plume from about 250 miles (400 kilometers) above the Earth. Canadian Space Agency astronaut David Saint-Jacques, one of the six crewmembers currently at the station, tweeted this photo as the Progress cargo ship began its 3-hour trip to the orbiting lab. "Fresh supplies coming our way!" he said. — Hanneke Weitering 

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Green auroras glow above Earth's city lights in this photo taken from the International Space Station. One of the Expedition 59 astronauts captured this view from 256 miles (412 kilometers) above the Earth, while the space station was passing over Russia and Kazakhstan on March 19.

(Image credit: NASA)

Northern Lights Over Russia

Wednesday, April 3, 2019: Green auroras glow above Earth's city lights in this photo taken from the International Space Station. One of the Expedition 59 astronauts captured this view from 256 miles (412 kilometers) above the Earth, while the space station was passing over Russia and Kazakhstan. — Hanneke Weitering 

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

The Wild Duck Cluster

Tuesday, April 2, 2019: A new view from the Hubble Space Telescope features a colorful open star cluster known as Messier 11. This group of stars is nicknamed the "Wild Duck Cluster" because its brightest members form the shape of the letter "V," resembling a flock of flying ducks. Messier 11 is located more than 6,000 light-years from Earth in the constellation Scutum, and astronomers believe the cluster formed about 220 million years ago. — Hanneke Weitering 

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(Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Jason Major)

'Jovey McJupiterface'

Monday, April 1, 2019: Happy April Fools' Day from space! This goofy-looking face on Jupiter is no joke. NASA's Juno spacecraft captured this image of Jupiter during a flyby in 2017, and citizen scientist Jason Major processed the raw data from Juno to highlight the smug-looking mug formed by storms swirling in the planet's atmosphere. Major named this image "Jovey McJupiterface." — Hanneke Weitering 

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NASA astronaut Anne McClain took her first spacewalk on March 22, 2019.

(Image credit: NASA)

An Out-of-This-World Selfie

Friday, March 29, 2019: NASA astronaut Anne McClain is smiling from ear to ear in an out-of-this world selfie she took during her first spacewalk last Friday (March 22). McClain was originally scheduled to take her second spacewalk today, but her colleague Nick Hague took her place when she realized she wouldn't fit in her spacesuit. — Hanneke Weitering 

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What looks like a red butterfly in space is in reality a nursery for hundreds of baby stars, revealed in this infrared image of the W40 nebula by from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

(Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

A Cosmic Butterfly

Thursday, March 28, 2019: Do you see the butterfly? This dazzling image of what looks like a red member of the lepidoptera order is actually a nebula in space about  1,400 light-years from our sun. The nebula, officially called Westerhout 40 (W40) is a vast cloud of gas where baby stars can be born. NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope captured this view with its Infrared Array Camera, using three different wavelengths that lend the image its distinct colors. Stars show up in brilliant blue light, while organic molecules are visible as reddish hues. Dusty material around stars show up as yellow and red. — Tariq Malik 

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Rays of sunshine beam over Earth as NASA astronaut Anne McClain takes her first spacewalk outside of the International Space Station. She and NASA astronaut Nick Hague worked outside of the orbiting laboratory last Friday (March 22) to replace aging batteries on the station's solar arrays.

(Image credit: NASA)

'A Million Dreams'

Wednesday, March 27, 2019: Rays of sunshine beam over Earth as NASA astronaut Anne McClain takes her first spacewalk outside of the International Space Station. "A million dreams is all it's gonna take," McClain tweeted after her spacewalk. She and NASA astronaut Nick Hague worked outside of the orbiting laboratory last Friday (March 22) to replace aging batteries on the station's solar arrays. McClain was scheduled to take her second spacewalk and the first all-female spacewalk in history this Friday (March 29), but NASA has reassigned her to another spacewalk due to spacesuit sizing issues. — Hanneke Weitering 

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

A Jovian Marble

Tuesday, March 26, 2019: Jupiter looks like a beautifully detailed marble in this new view from NASA's Juno spacecraft. Taken from below Jupiter's southern hemisphere, this image features the planet's iconic Great Red Spot and several other storms of various sizes and shapes. Juno scientists combined three frames from the spacecraft's JunoCam imager to create this full-disk view of the giant gas planet. The images were acquired Feb. 17 when Juno was between 16,700 and 59,300 miles (26,900 to 95,400 kilometers) above the planet's cloud tops. — Hanneke Weitering 

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(Image credit: Petr Horálek/ESO)

A Cosmic Question Mark

Monday, March 25, 2019: Colorful cosmic "fireworks" decorate the night sky over the La Silla observatory in Chile in this gorgeous image by the European Southern Observatory's resident astrophotographer Petr Horálek. Above the Milky Way and to the left are two nebulas that appear to form a question mark in the sky: an arc known as Barnard's Loop and the nearly-circular Angelfish Nebula right below it. These two nebulas are part of the Orion Molecular Cloud Complex. — Hanneke Weitering  

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(Image credit: ESA)

Oil Spill Seen from Space

Friday, March 22, 2019: The European Space Agency's Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellite captured this image of an oil spill that resulted when the Italian container ship "Grande America" sank in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of France on March 12. The oil slick stretches across an area spanning about 30 miles (50 kilometers), and oil is still spilling from the ship at the ocean floor. Sentinel-1 captured this radar image on Tuesday (March 19). — Hanneke Weitering 

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(Image credit: Joel Kowsky/NASA)

Space Station Transits the Moon

Thursday, March 21, 2019: It's a bird! It's a plane! Nope, that's the International Space Station zooming past the moon at an impressive speed of about 5 miles per second (8 km/s). NASA photographer Joel Kowsky captured a sequence of nine images to created this animated view of the transit on Saturday (March 16), two days after three Expedition 59 crewmembers arrived at the orbiting lab. — Hanneke Weitering 

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(Image credit: NOAA/GOES-East)

How the Equinox Looks from Space

Wednesday, March 20, 2019: Happy vernal equinox! Here's a satellite view of the sun rising over North America this morning on the first day of spring. In the Southern Hemisphere, today is the first day of autumn. — Hanneke Weitering 

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The Milky Way glitters in the predawn sky over Portugal's Guadiana River in this image by astrophotographer Sérgio Conceição. Saturn, Jupiter and the bright star Antares appear embedded in the Milky Way's dusty arc, while the bright star Spica dominates the sky to the right. In the foreground of this photo is the 500-year-old Bridge of Ajuda.

(Image credit: Sérgio Conceição)

Galactic Arc Sparkles Over Portuguese Bridge

Tuesday, March 19, 2019: The Milky Way glitters in the predawn sky over Portugal's Guadiana River in this image by astrophotographer Sérgio Conceição. Saturn, Jupiter and the bright star Antares appear embedded in the Milky Way's dusty arc, while the bright star Spica dominates the sky to the right. In the foreground of this photo is the 500-year-old Bridge of Ajuda. — Hanneke Weitering 

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(Image credit: ESA/NASA/Hubble/J. E. Grindlay et al.)

A 'Nebulous' Star Cluster

Monday, March 18, 2019: In this Hubble Space Telescope view of the globular cluster Messier 28, countless multicolored stars stand out as specks in a glittering cosmic sea. But when the astronomer Charles Messier first observed the cluster in the 18th century, he mistook it for a starless nebula, or a cloud of dust and gas. Larger telescopes later revealed that Messier 28 is in fact a rich star cluster. Located nearly 18,000 light-years from Earth in the constellation Sagittarius, this cluster contains at least 50,000 stars. — Hanneke Weitering 

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A Soyuz MS-12 spacecraft carrying the Expedition 59 crew for the International Space Station streaks into orbit from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan on March 15, 2019 Kazakh time (March 14 EDT).

(Image credit: Bill Ingalls/NASA)

Soyuz Streaks to Space Station!

Friday, March 15, 2019: The second time was the charm for NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin as they launched into space on a Soyuz MS-12 spacecraft on March 14 Eastern Time (it was early March 15 local time at their Baikonur Cosmodrome launch site in Kazakhstan). The two men launched into space with NASA astronaut Christina Koch to join the Expedition 59 crew on the International Space Station. Hague and Ovchinin initially tried to launch to the station in October 2018, but their rocket failed and they experienced a harrowing emergency abort. "This launch was infinitely more better than the last one," Hague told his wife Katie after reaching the station late yesterday. — Tariq Malik 

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(Image credit: David Saint-Jacques/CSA/Twitter)

Happy Birthday, Albert Einstein!

Thursday, March 14, 2019: Astronauts at the International Space Station celebrated what would have been Albert Einstein's 140th birthday today by sharing this photo of him floating weightlessly in the Cupola observatory. Einstein, who was born on Pi Day in 1879 and passed away on April 18, 1955 at the age of 76. — Hanneke Weitering 

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Crew Dragon being fished out of the water after an uncrewed test mission.

(Image credit: Isaac Watson/NASA)

A Toasted Space Marshmallow

Wednesday, March 13, 2019: Houston, we have a marshmallow! The SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule looks like a freshly toasted marshmallow after its fiery reentry through Earth's atmosphere. The capsule returned to Earth from its week-long mission to the International Space Station on Friday (March 8), when it splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida. Recovery teams pulled the charred capsule out of the water and transported it back to land on the company's recovery ship, shown here. — Hanneke Weitering 

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(Image credit: Eric Lagadec/ESO)

'Pac-Man' Eats the Moon

Tuesday, March 12, 2019: A telescope with an open dome looks like Pac-Man preparing to gobble down the full moon in this photo from the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope array. Located at the Paranal Observatory in Chile, the array consists of four of these 1.8-meter auxiliary telescopes and four larger main telescopes. — Hanneke Weitering 

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Guided by four parachutes, the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule genty drifts back down to Earth after spending nearly a week at the International Space Station for its first mission. The uncrewed capsule splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean on Friday (March 8) at 8:45 a.m. EST (1345 GMT).

(Image credit: Cory Huston/NASA)

Crew Dragon in the Clouds

Monday, March 11, 2019: Guided by four parachutes, the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule gently drifts back down to Earth after spending nearly a week at the International Space Station for its first mission. The uncrewed capsule splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean on Friday (March 8) at 8:45 a.m. EST (1345 GMT). — Hanneke Weitering 

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(Image credit: SpaceX)

SpaceX Sticks a Drone-Ship Landing

Thursday, March 7, 2019: The Falcon 9 rocket booster that launched SpaceX's Crew Dragon Demo-1 mission on Saturday (March 2) lowers itself onto a drone ship to stick an upright landing in this photo captured seconds before the successful touchdown. After delivering the Crew Dragon into orbit, the booster came back to Earth and aced the landing on the SpaceX drone ship, named "Of Course I Still Love You," which was stationed in the Atlantic Ocean off the Florida coast. — Hanneke Weitering 

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 Short star trails circle the North Star, Polaris, above a gorgeous landscape on Flores Island in this long-exposure image by astrophotographer Sérgio Conceição. He called this scene a "rare moment" for the Indonesian island, where the sky is seldom clear enough to capture such a spectacular view of the sky.

(Image credit: Sérgio Conceição)

Star Trails Over Flores

Wednesday, March 6, 2019: Short star trails circle the North Star, Polaris, above a gorgeous landscape on Flores Island in this long-exposure image by astrophotographer Sérgio Conceição. He called this scene a "rare moment" for the island, where the sky is seldom clear enough to capture such a spectacular view of the sky. — Hanneke Weitering 

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Wispy, green auroras shimmer over Antarctica in this photo captured from the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, a research site operated by the National Science Foundation.

(Image credit: D. Michalik/NSF/SPT)

Southern Lights Over 'SuperDARN' in Antarctica

Tuesday, March 5, 2019: Wispy, green auroras shimmer over Antarctica in this photo captured from the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, a research site operated by the National Science Foundation. Daniel Michalik, a research fellow with the European Space Agency, captured this single-exposure image while braving temperatures as long as minus 72 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 60 degrees Celsius). In the foreground of the image and trailing off into the distance are antennas and wires that make up the Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN), which monitors geomagnetic activity in Earth's upper atmosphere. — Hanneke Weitering 

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Crew Dragon Demo-1

(Image credit: Anne McClain/NASA/Twitter)

Crew Dragon on the Horizon

Monday, March 4, 2019: A silhouette of SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft passes in front of Earth's bright-blue horizon as it approaches the International Space Station in this photo by NASA astronaut Anne McClain. "The dawn of a new era in human spaceflight," McClain tweeted on Sunday (March 3) after the Crew Dragon docked with the station, becoming the first commercial crew spacecraft to ever visit the orbiting laboratory. — Hanneke Weitering 

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A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket topped with the Crew Dragon spacecraft stands vertical on the launchpad at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida ahead of its planned launch to the International Space Station. The capsule will make its first test flight on Saturday (March 2) at 2:49 a.m. EST (0749 GMT).

(Image credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky)

Crew Dragon Ready for Launch

Friday, March 1, 2019: A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket topped with the Crew Dragon spacecraft stands vertical on the launchpad at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida ahead of its planned launch to the International Space Station. The capsule will make its first test flight on Saturday (March 2) at 2:49 a.m. EST (0749 GMT) with no passengers on board — except for a mannequin named Ripley, who will be wearing a SpaceX spacesuit. — Hanneke Weitering 

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(Image credit: NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory)

Exclusive Eclipse Seen from Space

Thursday, February 28, 2019: While people on Earth only have the chance to see a few solar eclipses per year, NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) witnesses an eclipse all by itself every day during its very own eclipse season. The satellite's eclipse season lasts about three weeks and occurs twice a year around the equinoxes. Every day during those periods, the Earth partially blocks SDO's view of the sun for up to 72 minutes. The observatory captured this image of Earth obstructing the sun on Feb. 6. — Hanneke Weitering 

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Jupiter's clouds as captured by Juno.

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

Jovian Art

Wednesday, February 27, 2019: Jupiter's swirly atmosphere looks like a Van Gogh painting in this new image from NASA's Juno spacecraft. Citizen scientist Kevin Gill created this color-enhanced view using data that Juno collected during a close flyby of Jupiter on Feb. 12, when the spacecraft was about 8,000 miles (13,000 kilometers) above the planet's cloud tops. — Hanneke Weitering 

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(Image credit: CSA/NASA)

Canadarm2 Waves at Earth from Space

Tuesday, February 26, 2019: The International Space Station's Canadarm2 robotic arm stretches out into space in this photo by Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques. "#Canadarm2 is standing guard," Saint-Jacques tweeted on Friday (Feb. 22). The 58-foot-long (18 meters) robot is used to capture and release visiting spacecraft, and astronauts sometimes use it during spacewalks to get to hard-to-reach places outside the orbiting laboratory. — Hanneke Weitering 

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(Image credit: ESO)

SPECULOOS Sees a Faint Spiral

Monday, February 25, 2019: The wispy, spiral galaxy NGC 6902 glows faintly in deep space in this "first-light" image from the European Southern Observatory's new SPECULOOS Southern Observatory, an array of four telescopes in Chile’s Atacama desert. Although SPECULOOS was built to search for exoplanets around dim stars in our galactic neighborhood, one of its telescopes honed in on this spiral galaxy for its first observation. NGC 6902 is located about 120 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Sagittarius. "If this is what Ganymede can produce as its first observation of something it wasn’t even designed to image, we have a lot to look forward to," ESO officials said in a statement. — Hanneke Weitering 

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(Image credit: SpaceX)

Liftoff!

Friday, February 22, 2019: A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida to deliver Israel's first moon mission and two satellites into orbit in this long-exposure photo from SpaceX. The reusable rocket booster successfully launched and landed for a third time on Thursday (Feb. 21). — Hanneke Weitering 

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(Image credit: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin)

New Evidence for Water on Ancient Mars

Thursday, February 21, 2019: A new view from the European Space Agency's Mars Express orbiter reveals ancient trenches and valleys on the Red Planet, which seem to indicate that the planet once had liquid water flowing on its surface. This 3D rendering of the terrain was created using data from the spacecraft's High Resolution Stereo Camera. — Hanneke Weitering 

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

'Mr. Hankey' Spotted on Jupiter

Wednesday, February 20, 2019: This long, brown smear spotted in Jupiter's cloud tops has earned the unofficial nickname "Mr. Hankey" due to its striking resemblance to a character from "South Park." NASA's Juno spacecraft captured this image of the feature, which is more formally known as a "brown barge." The elongated, oval-shaped cloud is a cyclonic region in Jupiter's South Equatorial Belt. Citizen scientist Kevin Gill processed this color-enhanced image using data collected by Juno during the spacecraft's 18th close flyby of the planet on Feb. 12. — Hanneke Weitering

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Snow Moon

(Image credit: NASA)

'Snow Moon' Seen from Space

Tuesday, February 19, 2019: The full "Snow Moon" looms above Earth's fluffy cloud tops in this photo taken from the International Space Station on Feb. 12, 2016. Tonight the Snow Moon returns, but this year it is also a "supermoon," because the moon is at perigee, the closest point to Earth in its orbit. The so-called "Super Snow Moon" will be the biggest full moon of 2019. — Hanneke Weitering 

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(Image credit: ESO/A McLeod et al.)

A Stellar Nursery in the Large Magellanic Cloud

Friday, February 15, 2019: Inside the Large Magellanic Cloud, one of the Milky Way's cosmic neighbors, is a Mickey Mouse-shaped cloud of dust and gas that is riddled with bright, newborn stars. The European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope captured this view using its Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer instrument. — Hanneke Weitering 

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Heart Nebula

(Image credit: Miguel Claro)

A Cosmic Valentine

Thursday, February 14, 2019: Happy Valentine's Day from space! This endearing deep-space object is the Heart Nebula, or IC 1805. Located about 7,500 light-years from Earth in the constellation Cassiopeia, this glistening cloud of cosmic dust and gas was shaped by intense radiation coming from a cluster of stars at its core. Protruding from the cusp of the heart is the Fishhead Nebula. Astrophotographer Miguel Claro captured this view from the Dark Sky Alqueva Reserve in Portugal. — Hanneke Weitering 

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Cygnus A

(Image credit: Ron Brecher)

A Galaxy With Split Personalities

Wednesday, February 13, 2019: Is this galaxy shaped like a spiral, or is it more of an elliptical? Astronomers have long debated the answer to this question, because it seems to have properties of both.  Known as Centaurus A, or NGC 5128, this strange galaxy is located in the southern constellation of Centaurus, and it lies somewhere between 10 and 16 million light-years away from Earth; its exact distance is another question that is still up for debate. Astrophotographer Ron Brecher created this glittering view of the galaxy using data acquired from an observatory in New South Wales, Australia. — Hanneke Weitering

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cygnus

(Image credit: NASA)

Sayonara, Cygnus!

Tuesday, February 12, 2019: A Cygnus cargo spacecraft coasts above the clouds after departing the International Space Station on Friday (Feb. 8). Nicknamed the S.S. John Young after the late NASA astronaut, the cargo vessel launched to the space station on Nov. 17, 2018, carrying about 7,400 lbs. (3,400 kg) of supplies and science experiments for the crew of Expeditions 57 and 58. After unloading their shipment, the astronauts stuffed it full of non-recyclable trash and sent it off to burn up in Earth's atmosphere. — Hanneke Weitering 

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The Milky Way galaxy shimmers over Portugal's Lake Alqueva in this sunset view by astrophotographer Sergio Conceiçao. To the left of the galaxy's dusty core, the brightest object in the sky is the planet Mars.

(Image credit: Sérgio Conceição)

The Milky Way Meets Mars Over Alqueva

Monday, February 11, 2019: The Milky Way galaxy shimmers over Portugal's Lake Alqueva in this sunset view by astrophotographer Sérgio Conceição. To the left of the galaxy's dusty core, the brightest object in the sky is the planet Mars. — Hanneke Weitering

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Saddled up in the Orion Molecular Cloud is a horse-shaped object known as the Horsehead Nebula. This equestrian shape is a dark absorption nebula where dense clouds of dust and gas make it difficult for any light to shine through it. Also known as Barnard 33, the nebula is located about 1,500 light-years away from Earth in the Orion constellation. To its left is a bright emission nebula named NGC 2024, or the Flame Nebula.

(Image credit: Ron Brecher)

The Horsehead and Flame Nebulas

Friday, February 8, 2019: Saddled up in the Orion Molecular Cloud is a horse-shaped object known as the Horsehead Nebula. This equestrian shape is a dark absorption nebula where dense clouds of dust and gas make it difficult for any light to shine through it. Also known as Barnard 33, the nebula is located about 1,500 light-years away from Earth in the Orion constellation. To its left is a bright emission nebula named NGC 2024, or the Flame Nebula. — Hanneke Weitering

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Eberswalde crater delta

(Image credit: ESA/Roscosmos/CaSSIS)

A Martian River Delta

Thursday, February 7, 2019: A new view from the European Space Agency's ExoMars orbiter reveals an ancient river delta where water once flowed on Mars. Although liquid water has yet to be found on the Martian surface, geological features like this delta provide evidence that water played a major role in shaping the planet long ago. This 330-foot-wide (100 meters) fan-shaped feature is located in Eberswalde crater in the planet's southern hemisphere. (You can see an expanded view of the Eberswalde crater delta here.) — Hanneke Weitering

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On Feb. 6, 1971, NASA astronaut Al Shepard became the first person to play golf on the moon during the Apollo 14 mission. Shepard had smuggled a six-iron head to the moon and attached it to a lunar excavation tool to create a makeshift golf club. He then used it to whack two golf balls. One ball went into a crater, and he claimed the second one kept going for miles and miles.

(Image credit: NASA/Kevin Gill/Flickr)

Happy Moon Golf-iversary!

Wednesday, February 6, 2019: On this day in 1971, NASA astronaut Al Shepard became the first person to play golf on the moon during the Apollo 14 mission. Shepard had smuggled a six-iron head to the moon and attached it to a lunar excavation tool to create a makeshift golf club. He then used it to whack two golf balls. One ball went into a crater, and he claimed the second one kept going for "miles and miles." — Hanneke Weitering

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A Stormy 'Oval' Swirls on Jupiter

(Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Gerald Eichstadt/Sean Doran)

A Stormy 'Oval' Swirls on Jupiter

Tuesday, February 5, 2019: An enormous storm that spans twice the width of the continental U.S. swirls in Jupiter's southern hemisphere in this image from NASA's Juno spacecraft. The storm's counterclockwise rotation is evident in an animated view of the storm, which Juno imaged when it was between 15,400 miles (24,800 kilometers) and 60,700 miles (97,700 km) above the planet's cloud tops on Dec. 21, 2018. — Hanneke Weitering

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A cubesat is ejected from the Japanese Experiment Module at the International Space Station in this animated GIF. The small satellite, named TechEdSat-8, deployed on Thursday (Jan. 31) on a mission to test a new technology called exo-braking, which would allow science payloads to return to Earth inside a cubesat.

(Image credit: NASA)

'Exo-Braking' Cubesat Deploys

Monday, February 4, 2019: A cubesat is ejected from the Japanese Experiment Module at the International Space Station in this animated GIF. The small satellite, named TechEdSat-8, deployed on Thursday (Jan. 31) on a mission to test a new technology called "exo-braking," which would allow science payloads to return to Earth inside a cubesat. — Hanneke Weitering

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The spiral galaxy D100 (far right) is being stripped of its gas as it falls into the center of the Coma galaxy cluster in this view from the Hubble Space Telescope. The brown streaks near the center of D100 are gas being stripped from the galaxy.

(Image credit: NASA, ESA, M. Sun (University of Alabama), and W. Cramer and J. Kenney (Yale University))

A 'Wading' Galaxy Forms a Cosmic Tail

Friday, February 1, 2019: A tail emerges from the spiral galaxy D100 in this image that combines data from the Hubble Space Telescope's Advanced Camera for Surveys and the Subaru Telescope in Hawaii. The galaxy's tail is the product of a process called "ram-pressure stripping," in which gas and plasma in the interstellar medium pulls on the galaxy as it moves through it. It's "a little like the resistance one experiences when wading through deep water," Hubble officials wrote in the image release. — Hanneke Weitering

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NASA's Earth-observing satellite Landsat 8 captured this remarkable view of a flank eruption of Mount Etna. This type of eruption occurs when lava flows out of the side of a volcano rather than the top. Mount Etna erupted on Christmas Eve (Dec. 24, 2018), and Landsat 8 captured this image four days later as lava continued to flow.

(Image credit: NASA Earth Observatory/USGS/Landsat/Joshua Stevens)

Mount Etna Eruption Seen from Space

Thursday, January 31, 2019: NASA's Earth-observing satellite Landsat 8 captured this remarkable view of a "flank eruption" of Mount Etna. This type of eruption occurs when lava flows out of the side of a volcano rather than the top. Mount Etna erupted on Christmas Eve (Dec. 24, 2018), and Landsat 8 captured this image four days later as lava continued to flow. — Hanneke Weitering

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Wednesday, January 30, 2019: As a dangerously cold rush of air is sweeping across the Midwest United States today, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's GOES-East satellite is keeping an eye on the record-breaking weather event from space. This surge of cold air is the result of a rift in the polar vortex, a circulation of winds that surround the North Pole.

(Image credit: NOAA)

Epic Winter Storm Seen from Space

Wednesday, January 30, 2019: As a dangerously cold rush of air is sweeping across the Midwest United States today, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's GOES-East satellite is keeping an eye on the record-breaking weather event from space. This surge of cold air is the result of a rift in the polar vortex, a circulation of winds that surround the North Pole. — Hanneke Weitering

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(Image credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona)

Blue Dunes on Mars

Tuesday, January 29, 2019: Eerie blue sand dunes ripple across the Martian terrain in this image from the HiRISE camera aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. This dune field displays sandy features that can take on a variety of different shapes, depending on factors like wind velocity and the amount of sand present. "The dunes are arranged in a linear fashion at the northern extent of the field, first in areas with lots of sand, and then with relatively sand-free patches in between dune crests," NASA officials said in an image release. — Hanneke Weitering

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The Sun in 2018

(Image credit: ESA/Royal Observatory of Belgium)

365 Days of Sunshine

Monday, January 28, 2019: This solar montage shows what our sun looked like on every day of the year in 2018, as seen by the European Space Agency's Proba-2 satellite. During 2018, the sun was at the minimum of its 11-year solar cycle, so there weren't a ton of sunspots and solar flares to observe. Proba-2 captured these images using a camera called SWAP, which stands for Sun Watcher using Active Pixel System detector and Image Processing. (You can see an animation of all the images here.) — Hanneke Weitering

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During the total lunar eclipse on Monday (Jan. 21), the moon temporarily blocked our view of the star HIP 39749, located almost 6,000 light-years away in the Cancer constellation. In this animated timelapse, you can see the star emerging from the bottom of the moon after this stellar occultation. Astronomers at the European Space Astronomy Center in Spain recorded the event using an 8-inch (20-centimeter) reflector scope.

(Image credit: super blood wolf moon)

Blood Moon 'Eclipses' a Star

Friday, January 25, 2019: During the total lunar eclipse on Monday (Jan. 21), the moon temporarily blocked our view of the star HIP 39749, located almost 6,000 light-years away in the Cancer constellation. In this animated timelapse, you can see the star emerging from the bottom of the moon after this stellar occultation. Astronomers at the European Space Astronomy Center in Spain recorded the event using an 8-inch (20-centimeter) reflector scope. — Hanneke Weitering

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A lime-green aurora glows above Earth's city lights in this view from the International Space Station. At the time this photo was taken, the space station was orbiting about 258 miles (415 kilometers) above Russia and the Ukraine. A portion of the space station's solar array is visible in the top left corner of the image.

(Image credit: NASA)

Aurora Spotted from Space

Thursday, January 24, 2019: A lime-green aurora glows above Earth's city lights in this view from the International Space Station. At the time this photo was taken, the space station was orbiting about 258 miles (415 kilometers) above Russia and the Ukraine. A portion of the space station's solar array is visible in the top left corner of the image. — Hanneke Weitering

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The Milky Way shimmers over Chile's Atacama Desert in this stunning view by astrophotographer Petr Horálek of the European Southern Observatory (ESO). The long line of yellow street lights marks the road between ESO's Paranal Observatory and the Residencia, a hotel that provides lodging for astronomers and other staff of the observatory.

(Image credit: P. Horálek/ESO)

Chile's Vibrant Night Sky

Wednesday, January 23, 2019: The Milky Way shimmers over Chile's Atacama Desert in this stunning view by astrophotographer Petr Horálek of the European Southern Observatory (ESO). The long line of yellow street lights marks the road between ESO's Paranal Observatory and the Residencia, a hotel that provides lodging for astronomers and other staff of the observatory. — Hanneke Weitering

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Astrophotographer Yuri Beletsky captured the blood moon peeking through some foliage during a break in the cloud-covered sky over Santiago, Chile.

(Image credit: Yuri Beletsky)

Total Lunar Eclipse Over Chile

Tuesday, January 22, 2019: The Super Blood Wolf Moon peeks out from behind some foliage in this image taken by astrophotographer Yuri Beletsky in Santiago, Chile. Although the temperature in Chile was more bearable than it was for many eclipse photographers facing a cold front in the U.S., Beletsky said he struggled with thick cloud coverage throughout his shoot. He captured this lucky shot through a break in the clouds. — Hanneke Weitering

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The moon, or supermoon, is seen as it sets over the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on Monday (Nov. 14) in Washington.

(Image credit: NASA/Aubrey Gemignani)

Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Supermoon

Monday, January 21, 2019: The first "supermoon" of 2019 arrived on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday today, along with a "blood moon" lunar eclipse. In this photo, a previous supermoon sets behind the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington on Nov. 14, 2016. That supermoon did not coincide with a lunar eclipse, but it was the closest encounter between Earth and the moon in more than 68 years. See AMAZING photos of the 2019 Blood Moon! — Hanneke Weitering

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(Image credit: M. Franx/S. Faber/NASA/ESA/STScI)

A Strangely Spherical Galaxy

Friday, January 18, 2019: The bright, fuzzy light in this deep-space image is a spherical collection of stars known as Messier 89. Although it's classified as an elliptical galaxy, Messier 89 appears to be almost perfectly spherical, which is highly unusual. However, astronomers suspect that Messier 89's peculiar shape could just be an illusion, or a product of both the galaxy's orientation and our point of view. — Hanneke Weitering

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(Image credit: David Saint-Jacques/CSA/Twitter)

A Grapefruit in Space

Thursday, January 17, 2019: A fresh grapefruit floats in microgravity at the International Space Station in this photo taken by Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques. "Enjoying the last few fresh items until the next resupply spacecraft," Saint-Jacques tweeted yesterday from the orbiting laboratory. The next cargo shipment is scheduled to launch in March on a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft, so he and his Expedition 58 crewmates will have to wait a few weeks before more fresh fruit arrives. — Hanneke Weitering

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(Image credit: NASA/ESA/M. Durbin/J. Dalcanton/B. F. Williams)

The Triangulum Galaxy

Wednesday, January 16, 2019: Behold: the sharpest view of the Triangulum Galaxy ever! This composite image combines 54 frames captured by the Hubble Space Telescope's Advanced Camera for Surveys. Also known as Messier 33, the Triangulum Galaxy is located about 3 million light-years from Earth in the constellation of Triangulum. — Hanneke Weitering 

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

Storms on Jupiter

Tuesday, January 15, 2019: Three big storms churn through Jupiter's turbulent atmosphere in this image from NASA's Juno spacecraft. Citizen scientist Kevin Gill processed the image using data the spacecraft collected during a close flyby of the planet on Dec. 21, 2018. — Hanneke Weitering

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(Image credit: P. Horálek/ESO/CTAO)

Future Home of the Cherenkov Telescope Array

Monday, January 14, 2019: Stars and galaxies twinkle above Chile's Atacama Desert while a satellite flare zips across the night sky in this image by Petr Horálek, a photo ambassador for the European Southern Observatory. The empty landscape below has been selected to be the future site for part of the Cherenkov Telescope Array, an international project that will search the cosmos for gamma radiation using an array of 99 telescopes located in both the Southern Hemisphere and Northern Hemisphere. — Hanneke Weitering

 

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These three radar images of hippo-shaped near-Earth asteroid 2003 SD220 were captured between Dec. 15-17, 2018 using NASA's Goldstone antenna, the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico and the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia.

(Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/GSSR/NSF/GBO )

Space Hippo!

Friday, January 11, 2019: This 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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NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft captured this shot of the Earth and moon (left) and the asteroid Bennu (right) on Dec. 19, 2018. At the time, OSIRIS-REx was 71 million miles (114 million kilometers) from Earth and 27 miles (43 km) from Bennu.

(Image credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona/Lockheed Martin Space)

Earth, Moon and Bennu

Thursday, January 10, 2019: This 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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(Image credit: DFKI Robotics Innovation Centre)

On the Move

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 

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(Image credit: NASA/SOFIA)

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 

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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.

(Image credit: SpaceX)

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  Read more here. 

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The Yutu 2 rover rolls away from the Chang'e 4 lander shortly after the mission's historic Jan. 3 touchdown on the moon's far side.

(Image credit: CNSA/CLEP)

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 

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(Image credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute)

So Long, MU69!

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 

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(Image credit: Rajat Kumar Pal)

Crescent Moon over NYC

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 

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(Image credit: ESA/NASA/Hubble/K. Stapelfeldt)

A Star Is Born

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 

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A colorful star-forming region is featured in this stunning new NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image of NGC 2467. Looking like a roiling cauldron of some exotic cosmic brew, huge clouds of gas and dust are sprinkled with bright blue, hot young stars. <a href=http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/hubble-star-forming-nursery-100713.html>Full story</a>.

(Image credit: NASA, ESA and Orsola De Marco (Macquarie University))

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