Space Image of the Day Gallery (February 2017)

The Galilean Moons of Jupiter

NASA/ESA/Hubble Heritage Team

Credit: NASA/ESA/Hubble Heritage Team

The 'Frankenstein' Moon


Thursday, February 16, 2017: Uranus' moon Miranda, shown here in a photo taken by NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft in 1986, looks like a jumble of mismatched moon parts pieced together. Dutch-American astronomer Gerard Kuiper discovered Miranda on this day in 1948 using a telescope at the McDonald Observatory in Texas. It was the fifth of 27 moons to be discovered at Uranus so far and the last one found prior to Voyager 2's flyby. — Hanneke Weitering

Falcon 9 on Pad 39A


Friday, February 17, 2017: SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket stands tall on Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The Falcon 9 is slated to lift off on Saturday (Feb. 18) to carry cargo to the International Space Station. This is the first time SpaceX will utilize NASA's historic launch pad, where 11 Apollo missions and 82 space shuttle flights blasted off. — Hanneke Weitering

Space Station Astronauts Prepare for Dragon's Arrival


Wednesday, February 22, 2017: International Space Station astronauts Peggy Whitson and Thomas Pesquet take part in a video conference with ground control to prepare for the robotic capture of the SpaceX Dragon cargo craft that launched on Sunday (Feb. 19). Pesquet and space station commander Shane Kimbrough will use the Canadarm2 robotic arm to grab the cargo craft before it can dock to the station. Docking was originally slated for this morning, but was postponed due to a glitch with the Dragon capsule's navigation software. — Hanneke Weitering

Grabbing the Dragon

Thomas Pesquet/ESA/NASA/Flickr

Thursday, February 23, 2017: SpaceX's Dragon cargo ship arrived at the International Space Station this morning after a glitch in the spacecraft's navigation software caused a 24-hour delay. Astronauts Thomas Pesquet and Shane Kimbrough grappled the cargo craft using the station's Canadarm2 robotic arm at 5:44 a.m. EST (1044 EST). — Hanneke Weitering

Winter Wonderland

Thomas Pesquet/ESA/NASA/Flickr

Friday, February 24, 2017: "Winter landscapes are also magical from the International Space Station," French astronaut Thomas Pesquet wrote when he shared this photo of the Dnieper River on social media. "This river north of Kiev reminds me of a Hokusai painting." Pesquet took the photo as the space station flew over Russia on Feb. 9. — Hanneke Weitering

Into the Aurora Borealis

NASA/Terry Zaperach

Monday, February 27, 2017: NASA launched a Black Brant IX sounding rocket straight toward the northern lights early Wednesday (Feb. 22). It was the first of two rockets launched from the Poker Flat Research Range in Alaska that will study the structure of auroras using an instrument called ISINGLASS (Ionospheric Structuring: In Situ and Groundbased Low Altitude StudieS). — Hanneke Weitering

Jupiter and Io

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

Tuesday, February 28, 2017: Ten years ago today, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft flew by Jupiter and captured this photo of the gas giant with its volcanic moon, Io. Jupiter's strong gravity gave the spacecraft a 9,000-mile per hour (14,484 km/h) speed boost en route to Pluto, cutting the spacecraft's total travel time by three years. — Hanneke Weitering

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