Space Image of the Day Gallery (September 2018)

The View from a Martian Crater


Thursday, September 20, 2018: This image from the Cerberus Fossae region on Mars offers a unique perspective from just above a crater floor. The European Space Agency's Mars Express orbiter captured this image using a high-resolution stereo camera, which allows scientists to create this type of oblique and realistic perspective as opposed to the more flat-looking aerial shots. — Hanneke Weitering

The Coma Cluster


Friday, September 21, 2018: More than 1,000 galaxies of various shapes and sizes huddle together inside the Coma Cluster, which lies about 32 million light-years away from Earth in the constellation of Coma Berenices, also known as "Berenice's Hair." In the foreground of this Hubble Space Telescope view of the galaxy cluster is the spiral galaxy NGC 4858 (left). To its right is the elliptical galaxy NGC 4860. — Hanneke Weitering

Auroras in the Window

Oleg Artemyev/Roscosmos/Twitter

Monday, September 24, 2018: Green auroras shimmy over Earth in this nighttime view from a window of the International Space Station. Russian cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev tweeted the photo from space yesterday (Sept. 23). Visible in the foreground is one of the two Soyuz spacecraft used to ferry astronauts to and from the space station. To the left of the frame, you can see a tiny bit of daylight peeping over Earth's horizon. — Hanneke Weitering

The Harvest Moon

Kwong Liew/@liewdesign

Tuesday, September 25, 2018: The nearly-full Harvest Moon rises over hikers at the Mission Peak Regional Preserve near San Francisco, California in this image by astrophotographer Kwong Liew. The term "Harvest Moon" is given to the full moon that falls closest to the autumn equinox. The moon reached full phase on Monday (Sept. 24) at 10:52 p.m. EDT (0252 GMT on Sept. 25). Liew captured this photo of the moon on Sunday (Sept. 23). — Hanneke Weitering

'Infinity' in the Milky Way


Wednesday, September 26, 2018: A cloud of cosmic dust and gas in the center of the Milky Way galaxy appears to form the "infinity" symbol in this far-infrared view of the European Space Agency's Herschel space observatory. The loop of cold, dense gas is estimated to have the mass of about 30 million suns. — Hanneke Weitering

Comet 21P and Messier 35

Chris Schur/

Thursday, September 27, 2018: Comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner passes by Messier 35 in this image captured by astrophotographer Chris Schur on Sept. 15. Messier 35 is a cluster of stars located approximately 2,800 light-years away from Earth in the constellation Gemini. It is about ten time farther away than Comet 21P, which was 37 million miles away from Earth when the photo was taken. It reached perihelion, or the point in its orbit at which it is closest to the sun, on Sept. 10. — Hanneke Weitering

Ryugu Views


Friday, September 28, 2018 Japan's Hayabusa2 probe dropped two hopping rovers on the asteroid Ryugu Sept. 22 — here's what one of them saw as it came down. See more amazing views from the rovers here. — Sarah Lewin

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