Space Image of the Day Gallery (May 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.

Close-Up of Messier 66

Kevin M. Gill/NASA/ESA/Flickr

Tuesday, May 1, 2018: Bright stars and colorful nebulas glow in one of the galactic arms of Messier 66, an intermediate spiral galaxy located 36 million light-years away in the constellation Leo. Also known as NGC 3627, this galaxy's structure is somewhere between a barred and unbarred spiral galaxy. Citizen scientist Kevin Gill processed this image using data from the Hubble Space Telescope. — Hanneke Weitering

Stripes of Bedrock in a Martian Crater

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

Wednesday, May 2, 2018: NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured this view of eroded bedrock inside an ancient Martian crater using its High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera. These geologic features can reveal clues about the planet's history, including the presence of water. — Hanneke Weitering

The Great Lakes Seen from Space

Drew Feustel/NASA/Twitter

Thursday, May 3, 2018: NASA astronaut Drew Feustel snapped this photo of the Great Lakes from roughly 250 miles (400 kilometers) above Earth at the International Space Station. "On Monday, I captured this amazing image of all the places I called home for the first 32 years of my life," he tweeted. "Many of my family and friends are in this photo, somewhere." — Hanneke Weitering

'Star Wars' at the Space Station

Mark Vande Hei/NASA/Twitter

Friday, May 4, 2018: Happy Star Wars Day! During a movie night at the International Space Station, the Expedition 54 crew watched a special zero-g screening of "The Last Jedi" on their projection screen. "Space Station movie night, complete with "bungee cord chairs', drink bags, and a science fiction flick!" Vande Hei wrote on Twitter. — Hanneke Weitering

So Long, InSight!

Bill Ingalls/NASA

Monday, May 7, 2018: Flames from a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket rise from Space Launch Complex 3 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California as NASA's Mars Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations (InSight) mission blasts off on a mission to the Red Planet. InSight launched Saturday morning (May 5) at 7:05 a.m. EDT (1105 GMT, 4:05 a.m. local California time). — Hanneke Weitering

Cosmonauts Observe Victory Day in Space


Wednesday, May 9, 2018: Russian cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov (left) and Oleg Artymev peek through a window of the International Space Station's Cupola observatory. Shkaplerov tweeted the photo today in honor of Victory Day, a Russian holiday commemorating the surrender of Nazi Germany in 1945. "On Red Square in Moscow and in all major cities parades pass, and we @OlegMKS also decided to make a solemn flight over the planet in our space tank," Shkaplerov tweeted. — Hanneke Weitering

Tracking InSight from Australia


Thursday, May 10, 2018: The European Space Agency's 35-meter radio dish in New Norcia, Australia helps NASA track its InSight spacecraft after it launched toward Mars on May 5. This tracking station served as a backup to NASA's own Deep Space Network during the early operations of InSight's journey to the Red Planet, because its location in the southern hemisphere provided "very good visibility of the trajectory to Mars," ESA officials said. — Hanneke Weitering

Pacific Storm's a Brewin'


Friday, May 11, 2018: Storm clouds swirl over the North Pacific Ocean in this photo captured by astronauts at the International Space Station. The crew spotted the storm off the eastern coast of Russia on May 6. — Hanneke Weitering

Volcanic Eruption Seen From Space

Drew Feustel/NASA/Twitter

Monday, May 14, 2018: Astronauts at the International Space Station spotted the smoke plume from the Kilauea volcano, which has been spewing lava on Hawaii's Big Island since May 3. "It is easy to see the activity on Hawaii’s #Kilauea Volcano from @Space_Station," NASA astronaut Drew Feustel tweeted on Sunday (May 13). "We hope those in the vicinity of the eruption can stay out of harm’s way." — Hanneke Weitering

Upgraded Falcon 9 Rocket Lifts Off


Tuesday, May 15, 2018: SpaceX's first-ever "Block 5" version of the Falcon 9 rocket soars to space after lifting off from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Friday (May 11). Following a picture-perfect (albeit delayed) liftoff, the rocket delivered the first Bangladeshi communications satellite, Bangabandhu-1, into orbit. — Hanneke Weitering

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