Space Image of the Day Gallery (October 2017)

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.

A Galaxy in the Stars

ESO/Jean-Christophe Lambry

Monday, October 2, 2017: Big, bright stars are sprinkled around the galaxy NGC 1964 in this image from the European Southern Observatory's telescope in La Silla, Chile. NGC 1964 is a spiral galaxy about 70 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Lepus (the Hare). Several more distant galaxies are also visible in the background of this image. — Hanneke Weitering

International Coffee Day at the ISS

Randy Bresnik/NASA/ESA/Twitter

Tuesday, October 3, 2017: European Space Agency astronaut Paolo Nespoli enjoys a cup of coffee in zero-g in this photo taken at the International Space Station on Sept. 29. "Happy #NationalCoffeeDay!" NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik tweeted. "@Astro_Paolo is celebrating by making an ISSpresso!" — Hanneke Weitering

So Long, Sentinel-5P!

Stephane Corvaja/ESA

Thursday, October 4, 2017: The European Space Agency took one last look at its new Sentinel-5P Earth observation satellite yesterday before it was sealed inside the rocket fairing, a protective cone that will shield it from heat and pressure as it launches into space. Sentinel-5P is slated to blast off from Russia's Plesetsk Cosmodrome next Friday (Oct. 13) on a Eurockot Rockot launch vehicle. Using an instrument called Tropomi, it will study air pollution and monitor the ozone layer. — Hanneke Weitering

A Bird Photobombs the ISS


Thursday, October 5, 2017: The International Space Station crosses paths with a bird in this photo of the sun. Whizzing around the Earth at a speed of about 17,500 mph (28,000 km/h) and an altitude of 250 miles (400 km), it takes the space station only 1.2 seconds to transit the sun. Apparently a bird flying much closer to the Earth transits the sun in about the same amount of time. Astronomers at the European Space Agency calculated that the bird was flying 282 feet (86 m) from the camera lens. — Hanneke Weitering

ASPIRE Blasts Off

NASA/Jamie Adkins

Friday, October 6, 2017: Early Wednesday morning, NASA launched a Black Brant IX sounding rocket from the agency’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. This mission carried the Advanced Supersonic Parachute Inflation Research Experiment (ASPIRE) on board to test parachute systems in a low-density, supersonic environment. — Hanneke Weitering

Vande Hei's 1st Spacewalk

Randy Bresnik/NASA/Twitter

Monday, October 9, 2017: NASA astronaut and Expedition 53 flight engineer Mark Vande Hei took the first spacewalk of his career on Thursday (Oct. 5). He and Cmdr. Randy Bresnik spent almost 7 hours working outside the International Space Station to replace an aging "hand" at the end of the Canadarm2 robotic arm. The two will head out again tomorrow for a second spacewalk. — Hanneke Weitering

Earth & Spacewalkers Seen from the ISS

Paolo Nespoli/ESA/NASA

Tuesday, October 10, 2017: NASA astronauts Mark Vande Hai (left) and Randy Bresnik are spotted working outside the International Space Station on Thursday (Oct. 5) during the first of three spacewalks taking place this month. The spacewalking duo replaced a degraded "hand" at the end of the Canadarm2 robotic arm. Today the astronauts are taking a second spacewalk to lubricate the newly installed equipment and swap out some old cameras outside the space station. European Space Agency astronaut Paolo Nespoli, who assisted the spacewalkers by operating the Canadarm2, captured this view of the spacewalkers from inside the orbiting laboratory. — Hanneke Weitering

Jupiter's Great Red Fractals

NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Mik Petter

Wednesday, October 11, 2017: After NASA's Juno spacecraft captured an image of the planet's Great Red Spot, artist Mik Petter turned the picture into this colorful work of fractal art. The spacecraft's JunoCam took the original image during a flyby on July 10, when it was 8,648 miles (13,917 kilometers) above the planet's cloud tops. — Hanneke Weitering

Another Pre-Flown Falcon 9 Blasts Off


Thursday, October 12, 2017: SpaceX launched and landed its third used Falcon 9 rocket Wednesday evening (Oct. 11). The rocket blasted off from historic Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida and successfully delivered the EchoStar 105/SES-11 communications satellite to orbit. It then returned to Earth to stick a landing on a drone ship named "Of Course I Still Love You," which was awaiting the Falcon 9 in the Atlantic Ocean. — Hanneke Weitering

NASA Balloons Invade Albuquerque

Mary Ann Harness/NASA

Friday, October 13, 2017: An astronaut balloon floats in the sky above an inflatable model of NASA's F/A-18 supersonic jet at the 46th annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in New Mexico. The festival, which runs from Oct. 7 to Oct. 15, features a NASA exhibit that showcases the agency's aeronautics research conducted at facilities across the nation, including the Ames Research Center and Armstrong Flight Research Center in California, the Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, and Langley Research Center in Virginia. — Hanneke Weitering

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