Space Image of the Day Gallery (October 2016)

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.

Rosetta's Final Descent


Monday, October 3, 2016: The European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft captured this photo of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko during its final descent before it crashed onto the comet. Rosetta was about 10 miles (16 km) from the comet's surface when this photo was taken on Sept. 30. — Hanneke Weitering

Curiosity Takes a Selfie


Tuesday, October 4, 2016: NASA's Mars rover Curiosity snapped this selfie in September when it was drilling in the "Murray Buttes" region of lower Mount Sharp. Curiosity's Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) camera, located on the rover's robotic arm, took 60 photos to assemble this image. The robotic arm and MAHLI camera are not included in this view, but they are barely visible in a small reflection at the top of the rover's mast. — Hanneke Weitering

The Park Astronaut

NASA/Bill Ingalls

Wednesday, October 5, 2016: NASA astronaut Anne McClain poses in an art exhibit on the White House's south lawn. The installation, titled "The Park People Series," was built by artist Nathan Sawaya for President Obama's South by South Lawn (SXSL) festival. — Hanneke Weitering

New Shepard's 5th Landing

Blue Origin

Thursday, October 6, 2016: Blue Origin, a private spaceflight company that aims to carry people to suborbital flight, landed its New Shepard rocket booster for the 5th time yesterday after a successful test of its new in-flight escape system. Here, the rocket comes in for a controlled, upright landing at 4.2 miles per hour (6.8 km/h). — Hanneke Weitering

Europe By Night, from Above


Friday, October 7, 2016: Expedition 49 crewmembers on the International Space Station captured this nighttime view of Western Europe on Sept. 24. A docked Soyuz and Progress Spacecraft are visible in the foreground. The thick, dark strip behind the Soyuz spacecraft is the Alps. — Hanneke Weitering

A Parachute for Mars

ESA/S. Muihead

Monday, October 10, 2016: The European Space agency revealed a full-size model of the ExoMars entry, descent and landing module, "Schiaparelli." ExoMars is scheduled to arrive at Mars on Oct. 19. — Hanneke Weitering

Inside a Spiral Galaxy


Tuesday, October 11, 2016: The Hubble Space telescope peered into the heart of a spiral galaxy 11 million light-years away known as NGC 247. Its galactic nucleus looks like a bright white cloud surrounded by stars, cosmic dust and gas. — Hanneke Weitering

Martian Mound in Vivid Colors

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell/Arizona State University

Wednesday, October 12, 2016: NASA's Mars rover Opportunity captured this stunning view of a feature on Mars called "Spirit Mound." Behind the mound lies the floor of Endeavor Crater. The rover's panoramic camera (Pancam) snapped several photos on Sept. 21 to create this mosaic, which was then color-enhanced to bring out details in the Martian surface. — Hanneke Weitering

Meet the Expedition 49/50 Crew


Thursday, October 13, 2016: These 3 astronauts — Shane Kimbrough of NASA, and Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko of the Russian space agency Roscosmos — will fly to the International Space Station on Wednesday, Oct. 19. Here the trio poses for a photo in their spacesuits at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Sept. 9. — Hanneke Weitering

A Dying Star's Spiral Arms

ESA/Hubble & NASA; Acknowledgement: Serge Meunier

Friday, October 14, 2016: The Hubble Space Telescope took this photo of a planetary nebula — a dying star that is letting go of its outer layers of gas. As the cloud of gas moves away from a star, it can form different shapes. Here, the planetary nebula PK 329-02.2 appears to take on the shape of a spiral galaxy. — Hanneke Weitering

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