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Pictures from space! Our image of the day

Pictures from space! Our image of the day


Pictures from space! Our image of the day


Space can be a wondrous place, and we’ve got the pictures to prove it! Take a look at our favorite pictures from space here, and if you’re wondering what happened today in space history don’t miss our On This Day in Space video show here!

A dark storm reverses on Neptune

(Image credit: NASA, ESA, STScI, M.H. Wong (University of California, Berkeley), and L.A. Sromovsky and P.M. Fry (University of Wisconsin-Madison))

Dec. 16, 2020: Astronomers spotted a dark swirling vortex on Neptune suddenly reverse direction using the Hubble Space Telescope. The storm, discovered in 2018 using Hubble, began in Neptune’s northern hemisphere and was traveling towards the equator. Scientists expected that as this happened the storm would become less and less visible. However, in August 2020, scientists using Hubble noticed the storm changing direction going back northwards. — Chelsea Gohd. 

Saturn and Jupiter in the evening sky

(Image credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls)

Dec. 15, 2020: In this photograph taken from Shenandoah National Park in Luray, Virginia, you can see the planets Saturn and Jupiter nestled close together in the sky at sunset. Saturn and Jupiter are nearing a “great conjunction” on Dec. 21. During the exciting, astronomical event, the two planets will appear to be so close together in the sky, they will be just a tenth of a degree apart from one another. — Chelsea Gohd

Working in space

(Image credit: NASA)

Dec. 14, 2020: Expedition 64 crew members, including NASA astronauts Kate Rubins and Soichi Noguchi, worked together to explore medical therapies for both cancer and heart conditions. Members of the crew also swapped out U.S. spacesuits inside of SpaceX’s Cargo Dragon resupply ship as one suit was returned to the station and one will go back to Earth for maintenance. — Chelsea Gohd

A sparkling, cosmic masterpiece

(Image credit: NASA, ESA, and A. Saha (NOAO); Processing: Gladys Kober (NASA/Catholic University of America))

Dec. 11, 2020: This image seems almost too cartoonish and sparkly to be real, but it is yet another stunning, unique view of the cosmos snapped by the Hubble Space Telescope. To capture this image, Hubble used a single infrared filter with its Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3). The image depicts stars near the center of the active galaxy Caldwell 96 (or NGC 2516). There are also a number of background galaxies that are visible (though fuzzy) in the image. — Chelsea Gohd

SN8’s test flight goes explosively well

(Image credit: SpaceX)

Dec. 10, 2020: SN8, SpaceX’s latest Starship prototype, launched on its first high-altitude test flight last night (Dec. 9, 2020) taking off at 5:45 p.m. EST (2245 GMT) from SpaceX’s facility near Boca Chica, Texas. After a spectacular take-off, SN8 guided itself back to the ground where it landed near the launch stand. While the vehicle performed well throughout the test it came in a little too fast for the landing and touched down explosively. Still, the merits of the test flight were many and the SpaceX team, and most notably its founder Elon Musk, was thrilled with how it went. — Chelsea Gohd

A 3D printed test ring

(Image credit: ESA)

Dec. 9, 2020: This shiny little piece of metal is a test segment from what is known as a launch interface ring, a ring that secures a satellite in place for its tough journey from Earth to space. The ring from which this segment was plucked was 3D printed with an aluminum-magnesium-scandium alloy as part of a European Space Agency Project designed to improve the technique known as LIRAM (Launch Interface Rings by Additive Manufacturing). — Chelsea Gohd

A cosmic wonderland

(Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, A. Zabludoff)

Dec. 8, 2020: In this image taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, you can see the sparkling, sprawling wonder of space. Featured in this image is the galaxy SDSS J225506.80+005839.9. This galaxy with its long (not exactly catchy) name can be seen in the center right of this image. The recently discovered galaxy lies about 500 million light-years from Earth and is a perfect example of what can be discovered by space telescopes like Hubble. — Chelsea Gohd

New Zealand from space

(Image credit: contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2019), processed by ESA, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO)

Dec. 7, 2020: The Banks Peninsula on the South Island of New Zealand shows off its striking colors in this stunning image taken from space. This image was taken by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission, which is made up of two satellites that orbit our planet, scouring its surface collecting data and paying close attention to bodies of water and how they change over time. — Chelsea Gohd

Russia’s wild rocket launch

(Image credit: Russian Federation Ministry of Defense)

Friday, Dec. 4, 2020: This amazing close-up shows a view of a Soyuz-2 rocket’s first stage engines as it launched three new Gonets-M communications satellites and a military nanosatellite into orbit for Russia’s Ministry of Defense. The launch occurred Wednesday (Dec. 2) at 10:14 p.m. EST (0114 GMT or 3:14 a.m. Moscow time Thursday, Dec. 3) at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia. You can watch an amazing video of the launch here. — Tariq Malik

Hubble spots a strange galaxy

(Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, A. Filippenko)

Nov. 30, 2020: The Hubble Space Telescope spotted the galaxy NGC 2770 in this close-up view. The galaxy has been home to four different observed supernovae over the years, making it unusual and especially interesting to scientists studying the far-out cosmos. One of the supernovae spotted in the galaxy, SN 2015bh, was first thought to possibly not be a supernova but rather a strange outburst from an old, massive star. However, it was later correctly classified as a supernova created when a star 8-50 times as massive as our sun died. 

Happy ‘Black Hole’ Friday!

An artist's depiction of a black hole.

(Image credit: Sophia Dagnello, NRAO/AUI/NSF)

Nov. 27, 2020: While people flock to stores online and in person for annual Black Friday sales, NASA wants you to think a bit more cosmic with Black Hole Friday. 


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