Space Image of the Day Gallery (July 2016)

Milky Way Illuminated in Lighthouse Glow

Jatin Thakkar

Tuesday, July 19, 2016: The Milky Way shines behind the Nauset Lighthouse in Eastham, Massachusetts. Taken on July 2, 2016, this night sky photo captures the rotating light beams radiating in all directions from the tower, with the Milky Way tucked between two streams of light. — Samantha Mathewson

40th Anniversary of Viking 1 Landing

NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona

Wednesday, July 20, 2016: NASA's Viking 1 Lander touched down on Mars on July 20, 1976, making history as the first U.S. mission to successfully land a spacecraft on the surface of the Red Planet. Viking 1 was part of NASA's Viking mission, which included a second, identical spacecraft, named Viking 2. Today marks the 40th anniversary of the Viking 1 landing. — Samantha Mathewson

Saline Webs of Sundarbans National Park


Thursday, July 21, 2016: The European Space Agency's Sentinel-2A satellite has captured a remarkable photo of the eastern part of the Sundarbans National Park. Consisting of southern Bangladesh and a small part in the Indian state of West Bengal, this UNESCO World Heritage Site represents the world's largest single block of tidal mangrove and swamp forests. — Samantha Mathewson

TW Hydrae Family of Stars


Friday, July 22, 2016: This stellar image shows a sky map of the TW Hydrae family, which is a group of stars centered in the Hydra constellation about 175 light-years from Earth. The stars of the TW Hydrae family are believed to have formed together approximately 10 million years ago. This image was taken by NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE). — Samantha Mathewson

Stargazing at Mauna Kea, Hawaii

Michael Beck

Monday, July 25, 2016: Stars glimmer in the sky above the Mauna Kea volcano in Hawaii. Taken from the Ellison Onizuka Astronomy Center by photographer Michael Beck, this night sky image captures a faint glow of lava in the distance. — Samantha Mathewson

Solar Flare Trio


Tuesday, July 26, 2016: On July 22 and 23, the sun emitted three mid-level solar flares, which are powerful bursts of radiation. The strongest of the flares occurred at 1:16 a.m. EDT on July 23 and is captured in this image. These solar eruptions were the largest observed since April, as the sun is currently experiencing a period of low activity. Watch a video of the solar flares on — Samantha Mathewson

GK Persei Nova


Wednesday, July 27, 2016: GK Persei (photographed here) was a remarkably bright nova that lite up the sky for a few days in 1901, before slowly fading away. Using NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, astronomers captured this new image of GK Persei in order to better understand nova remnants and stellar eruptions. — Samantha Mathewson

Bright Australian Auroras


Thursday, July 28, 2016: A stunning aurora danced over south Australian on June 24, 2016. This image, captured by NASA Expedition 48 Commander Jeff Williams, was taken from the International Space Station orbiting Earth. — Samantha Mathewson

Cosmic Tadpole

NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope

Friday, July 29, 2016: Tadpole galaxies, such as LEDA 36252 pictured here, are rare cosmic splendors. While the two main galaxy types are spiral and elliptical, tadpole galaxies are far less commonly seen in the local universe. They are recognized by their bright head and elongated tail of trailing stars. This new image was captured by the Hubble Space Telescope. — Samantha Mathewson

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