Space Image of the Day Gallery (August 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.

Asteroid Dirt Gets a Close-Up


Wednesday, August 1, 2018: When viewed under a microscope, this tiny grain of asteroid dirt kind of looks like a human hair. Japan's Hayabusa spacecraft collected this sample of the asteroid Itokawa in 2005 and returned it to Earth in 2010, making it the first successful sample return mission to an asteroid. Hayabusa returned about 1,500 grains just like this one, and scientists around the world are still studying the samples. — Hanneke Weitering

Saharan Sandstorm Spotted from Space

Ricky Arnold/NASA/Twitter

Thursday, August 2, 2018: While orbiting 250 miles (400 kilometers) above the Earth at the International Space Station, NASA astronaut Ricky Arnold spotted this enormous sandstorm rolling across the Sahara, one of the largest deserts in the world. After Arnold tweeted the photo, his Twitter followers helped to identify the exact location of the sandstorm, which appears to be on the border between the African nations of Algeria and Mali. — Hanneke Weitering

Icebergs in Greenland

NASA/USGS/Joshua Stevens/Kathryn Hansen

Friday, August 3, 2018: The Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 captured this natural-color image of icebergs just offshore of Innaarsuit, a small island village in northwestern Greenland. The images show just how stunning and enormous these icebergs are in comparison with the small community. — Chelsea Gohd

SpaceX and Boeing's New Astronauts

NASA/Bill Ingalls

Monday, August 6, 2018: Friday, August 3, NASA announced which astronauts will be flying the inaugural crewed test flights for Boeing and SpaceX, scheduled for 2019. There has been an outpour of support for the astronauts chosen, and excitement for what is set to be the first crewed launches from American soil since NASA's last Shuttle mission in 2011. — Chelsea Gohd

California Wildfires

ESA/Alexander Gerst

Tuesday, August 7, 2018: European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst took this photo on August 3 from aboard the International Space Station. You can see the Carr and Ferguson fires raging in California. — Chelsea Gohd

Alaska's Changing Glaciers

NASA/USGS/Landsat/Jesse Allen and Robert Simmon

Wednesday, August 8, 2018: The Columbia Glacier in southeastern Alaska. Landsat satellites captured images that show how the glacier and surrounding terrain has changed since 1986. This is a false-color image in which snow and ice look bright blue, plant life is bright green, clouds are white or light orange, open water is dark blue, bedrock is brown, and rocks on the glacier are grey. — Chelsea Gohd

The Pioneer Venus Multiprobe spacecraft

NASA/ Paul Hudson

Thursday, August 9, 2018: This illustration shows the Pioneer Venus Multiprobe spacecraft approaching Venus. The craft launched from Cape Canaveral on August 8, 1978 to study Venus. Even though the probe wasn't expected to survive its descent into Venus' scalding hot atmosphere, all four of the craft's probes transmitted data to the surface - an incredible feat. — Chelsea Gohd

Mars and the 'Blood Moon' Over Antarctica

Robert Schwarz/

Friday, August 10, 2018: Can you tell the Red Planet and the "blood moon" apart in this photo? The two objects paired up in the night sky during the longest total lunar eclipse of the century on July 27. That same day, Mars was at opposition and glowing bigger and brighter than usual. Researcher and astrophotographer Robert Schwartz captured this snowy scene from the South Pole. During the eclipse, the moon appeared even redder than the Red Planet. — Hanneke Weitering

Satellite Sees a Double Eclipse!

ESA/Royal Observatory of Belgium

Monday, August 13, 2018: While skywatchers in parts of the world watched the moon take a bite out of the sun during a partial solar eclipse on Saturday (Aug. 11), a European satellite got to witness the eclipse twice. The European Space Agency's sun-observing satellite Proba-2 orbits the Earth about 14.5 times a day, which allowed it to pass through the moon's shadow twice. — Hanneke Weitering

'The Continent of Fires'

Alexander Gerst/ESA/Twitter

Tuesday, August 14, 2018: South Africa is peppered with plumes of smoke in this view from the International Space Station. "The continent of fires," European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst tweeted on Sunday (Aug. 12). "We can see thousands of bush fires every time we fly over the southern part of Africa." — Hanneke Weitering

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