Space Image of the Day Gallery (March 2018)

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.

Charting Ice in the Bering Strait


Thursday, March 1, 2018: This colorful image from the European Space Agency's Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission maps changes in the extent of sea ice in the Bering Strait, which connects the Pacific and Arctic Oceans between Alaska and Russia. The image combines three radar scans from Dec. 11 (shown in blue), Dec. 23 (red) and Jan.4 (green). Abnormally high water temperatures this season have caused this sea ice to melt earlier than usual, creating a large expanse of open water in otherwise ice-covered sections of the Bering Strait. — Hanneke Weitering

Stratolaunch Hits the Runway

Stratolaunch Systems Corp.

Friday, March 2, 2018: The world's largest airplane, designed to transport rocket launchers and satellites bound for low Earth orbit, hit a new milestone last weekend. The Stratolaunch carrier aircraft conducted runway tests on Saturday and Sunday (Feb. 25-26) at the Mojave Air and Space Port in Mojave, California and achieved a taxi speed of 46 mph (74 km/h). Stratolaunch Systems Corp. aims to start test flights in 2019. — Hanneke Weitering

Venus, the 'Evening Star'

P. Horálek/ESO

Monday, March 5, 2018: The bright planet Venus glows in the evening sky above the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope in northern Chile. Pictured here is Auxiliary Telescope 1, one of four such telescopes that make up an astronomical interferometer at the observatory. — Hanneke Weitering

Putting TESS to the Test

Leif Heimbold/NASA

Tuesday, March 6, 2018: NASA technicians test out the solar panels on the agency's new Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) inside the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Scheduled to launch next month, TESS will search for alien worlds orbiting nearby stars. — Hanneke Weitering

The Moon from Space


Wednesday, March 7, 2018: Astronauts at the International Space Station captured this view of the waxing gibbous moon from about 250 miles (400 kilometers) above the Earth. The photo was taken as the space station passed over the Indian Ocean southwest of Africa on Feb. 28, 2018. — Hanneke Weitering

50th Flight of the Falcon 9


Thursday, March 8, 2018: SpaceX launched its Falcon 9 rocket on a landmark 50th flight on Tuesday (March 6). The rocket lifted off from Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station shortly after midnight and delivered the Hispasat 30W-6 communications satellite into low-Earth orbit 30 minutes later. This long-exposure shot show the rocket's curved trajectory as it soared into space. — Hanneke Weitering

On the Edge of the Gratteri Crater

NASA/JPL/University of Arizona/USGS/Kevin Gill via Flickr

Friday, March 9, 2018: This high-resolution image from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows a portion of the Gratteri crater. Located in the Memnonia Fossae region of the Red Planet, Gratteri is a 4.3-mile-wide (6.9 km) rayed crater, which means that long linear features emanate from its center much like the spokes of a bicycle wheel. NASA engineer Kevin Gill rendered the image using data from the spacecraft's HiRISE camera. — Hanneke Weitering

Milky Way Rises Over Maine

Charles Cormier Photography

Monday, March 12, 2018: The starry core of the Milky Way rises over the coast of Maine in this early morning view by astrophotographer Charles Cormier. "The winter months are a great time of year to see the stars as the air is cold and visibility is good," Cormier told "The core the galaxy is visible for a short window of time before sunrise this time of year." — Hanneke Weitering

SDO Sees a Solar Eclipse

NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory

Tuesday, March 13, 2018: NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) watched a special total solar eclipse on Feb. 11, when the Earth crossed in front of the sun on the eighth anniversary of the satellite's launch. This eclipse was not visible from Earth. Thanks to the satellite's inclined geostationary orbit, which provides a continuous view of the sun, SDO experiences two such eclipses every year. This animated view of the solar eclipse shows the extreme ultraviolet radiation coming from the sun over the course of about an hour and a half. — Hanneke Weitering

The Big Dipper

Jeff Dai

Wednesday, March 14, 2018: The Big Dipper twinkles over the snow-covered Alborz mountain range in Iran in this image by astrophotographer Jeff Dai. Located in the constellation Ursa Major, the Big Dipper is one of the most easily recognizable asterisms in the night sky. Stargazers in the Northern Hemisphere can see it above the northeast horizon shortly after sunset this month. — Hanneke Weitering

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