NASA posted on its website this image of the Crab Nebula, writing, "This close-up image reveals the beating heart of one of the most historic and intensively studied remnants of a supernova, an exploding star. The inner region sends out clocklike pulses of radiation and tsunamis of charged particles embedded in magnetic fields," July 7, 2016.
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has found a new dark spot on Neptune. Astronomers hope to better understand the origins of the dark areas, their interaction with the environment and how they ultimately dissipate.
Hubble Spies a Spiral Snowflake
Spiral galaxies together with irregular galaxies make up approximately 60% of the galaxies in the local Universe. However, despite their prevalence, each spiral galaxy is unique - like snowflakes, no two are alike. This is demonstrated by the striking face-on spiral galaxy NGC 6814, whose luminous nucleus and spectacular sweeping arms, rippled with an intricate pattern of dark dust, are captured in this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image.
ESA/Hubble & NASA
A Unique View of Morocco From Space
Expedition 47 Flight Engineer Jeff Williams of NASA captured this detailed photograph from the International Space Station during a daytime flyover of Morocco, May 2, 2016. Williams shared the image to social media and asked, "Reptile scales, or incredible and rugged geology in Morocco?"
Spider Nebula Glows Among the Stars
The spider part of The Spider and the Fly" nebulae, IC 417 abounds in star formation, as seen in this infrared image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope and the Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS).
Mars Rover Sends a Selfie From the Red Planet
NASA's Curiosity rover is seen at Namib Dune in this photo where it has been busy scooping samples of sand for laboratory analysis.
Hubble Telescope Spots Colorful Bubble
NASA's Hubble telescope photographed this planetary nebula called NGC 6818, also known as the Little Gem Nebula, located in the constellation of Sagittarius, roughly 6000 light-years from Earth.
See Dark Side of the Moon From a Million Miles Away
This image shows the far side of the moon, illuminated by the sun, as it crosses between the DSCOVR spacecraft's Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC) camera and telescope, and the Earth - one million miles away.
California, Oregon Fires Seen From Space
This satellite image shows smoke from several fires in Oregon and California on Aug. 2, 2015. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument that flies aboard NASA's Aqua satellite captured an image of smoke from these fires. The multiple red pixels are heat signatures detected by MODIS. The smoke appears to be a light brown color.
Scott Kelly Captures Striking View of Mountains
Scott Kelly posted this image to twitter, July 30, 2015, with the caption: "High sun angles we're at on @Space_Station make for striking images of the mountains of #SouthAmerica. #YearInSpace"
Earth From A Million Miles Away
A NASA camera on the Deep Space Climate Observatory satellite has returned its first view of the entire sunlit side of Earth from one million miles away. The image was generated by combining three separate images to create a photographic-quality image. The image was taken July 6, 2015, showing North and Central America.
Stars and Stripes in Space
Celebrating Flag Day, NASA astronaut Scott Kelly took this photograph in the cupola of the International Space Station. Kelly (@StationCDRKelly) wrote, "Stars and stripes from @Space_Station. Happy #NationalFlagDay! #YearInSpace," June 14, 2015.
Get the Closest Look Yet of Ceres' Cratered Surface
The brightest spots on dwarf planet Ceres are seen in this image taken by NASA's Dawn spacecraft on June 6, 2015. This is among the first snapshots from Dawn's second mapping orbit, which is 2,700 miles (4,400 kilometers) in altitude. The resolution is 1,400 feet (410 meters) per pixel. Scientists are still puzzled by the nature of these spots, and are considering explanations that include salt and ice.
Medusa Nebula Glows in Space
ESO's Very Large Telescope in Chile has captured the most detailed image ever taken of the Medusa Nebula. As the star at the heart of this nebula made its final transition into retirement, it shed its outer layers into space, forming this colorful cloud. The image foreshadows the final fate of the Sun, which will eventually also become an object of this kind.
Sunset Thunderstorms As Seen From Space
Astronaut Terry W. Virts posted this photo to Twitter, May 13, 2015, with the text, "This amazing sunset view shows just how high thunderstorms can go. This is truly #EarthArt."
Astronaut Shows Surprising View of Earth
Astronaut Scott Kelly shared this image of Earth from space to his Twitter account, April 27, 2015, captioned: "Sometimes #Earth looks like another planet from @Space_Station. #YearInSpace"
Astronauts' Space Outpost Glows in the Dark
On March 18, 2015, this image was posted to Italian astronaut Sam Cristoforetti's Twitter account with the text, "Captivating view... Progress cargo spaceship ablaze in a ghostly green and red glow. #OurOutpostInSpace."
Shades of Red at Mars’ South Pole
The southern cap of Mars hosts a swirl of colors in this image released by ESA on Feb. 9, 2015. The bright white area is composed of frozen water and carbon dioxide. The image was originally captured on Dec. 17, 2012, in infrared, green and blue light, using the High Resolution Stereo Camera on ESA's Mars Express spacecraft.
Bill Dunford/FU Berlin/DLR/ESA
Sweeping View of Little Sombrero Galaxy
The Hubble Space Telescope captured NGC 7814, a galaxy known as the "Little Sombrero." NGC 7814 has a bright central bulge and a bright halo of glowing gas extending outwards into space. The dusty spiral arms appear as dark streaks. Nearly all of the objects seen in this image are galaxies as well.
Hubble and NASA/ESA
Amazing Photo of Mysterious 'God's Hand' Space Globule
Like the gaping mouth of a gigantic celestial creature, the cometary globule CG4 glows menacingly in this image from ESO's Very Large Telescope, Jan. 30, 2015. Although it looks huge and bright in this image it is actually a faint nebula and not easy to observe. The exact nature of CG4 remains a mystery.
NASA Explores ‘International Year of Light’
The Chandra X-ray Center released a set of images in honor of the United Nations’ designation of 2015 as the International Year of Light. An expanding shell of debris called SNR 0519-69.0 is left behind after a massive star exploded in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy to the Milky Way. Multimillion degree gas is seen in blue in X-rays from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory. The outer edge of the explosion (red) and stars in the field of view are seen in visible light from the Hubble Space Telescope.
Sun Releases First Major Solar Flare of 2015
NASA released this image of what they call the first notable solar flare of 2015, photographed by the Solar Dynamics Observatory on Jan. 12, 2015. Solar flares are powerful bursts of radiation. Harmful radiation from a flare cannot pass through Earth's atmosphere to physically affect humans on the ground, however -- when intense enough -- they can disturb the atmosphere in the layer where GPS and communications signals travel.
Hubble Captures Brilliant New "Pillars of Creation"
NASA released a new photo of the "Pillars of Creation" from the Hubble Telescope, Jan. 6, 2015.
Europa’s Icy Surface Glows in New Color View
A color view of the surface of Jupiter's moon Europa, composed from images taken by NASA's Galileo Orbiter between 1995 and 1998. Though the images were taken years ago, this view is the first view of Europa as it would appear to the human eye; an earlier composite version, released in 2001, was a mosaic view made from images taken through multicolored filters.
Massive galaxy cluster Abell 2744, nicknamed Pandora's Cluster, takes on a ghostly look where total starlight has been artificially colored blue in this Hubble view.
Active regions on the sun combined to look something like a jack-o-lantern's face on Oct. 8, 2014. The active regions appear brighter because those are areas that emit more light and energy are markers of an intense and complex set of magnetic fields hovering in the sun's atmosphere, the corona. This image blends together two sets of wavelengths, typically colorized in gold and yellow, to create a particularly Halloween-like appearance.
Hubble Snaps Stunning Photo of Neighboring Star Cluster
NASA has released an image taken by the Hubble space telescope of a cluster of stars known as NGC-121, in one of our neighboring galaxies.
Saturn's largest and second largest moons, Titan and Rhea, appear to be stacked on top of each other in this true-color scene from NASA's Cassini spacecraft. The north polar hood can be seen on Titan, 3,200 miles across, appearing as a detached layer at the top of the moon on the top right.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
A composite image, built from 141 photos taken by the spacecraft Cassini in July and released Nov. 12, 2013, shows the results of a four-hour flyby of the planet Saturn. Earth and its moon are visible as a small blip in the natural-color image, just outside the glow of the outermost ring on the lower righthand side of the planet; they are 1.4 billion kilometers away.
Images captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory show a magnetic filament of solar material erupting on the sun in a spectacular fashion, Sept. 29-30, 2013. The 200,000 mile long filament ripped through the sun's atmosphere, the corona, leaving behind what looks like a canyon of fire. The glowing canyon traces the channel where magnetic fields held the filament aloft before the explosion.
NASA/Solar Dynamics Observatory
In this composite image, visible-light observations by NASA?s Hubble Space Telescope are combined with infrared data from the ground-based Large Binocular Telescope in Arizona to assemble a dramatic view of the well-known Ring Nebula.
New data from the Chandra X-Ray Observatory of the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC), one of the Milky Way's closest galactic neighbors, reveals the first discovery of X-ray emissions from young stars similar to our sun outside of our galaxy. This composite of X-ray, optical and infrared images shows the stars in a region known as "The Wing" of the SMC.
X-ray: NASA/CXC/Univ.Potsdam/L.Oskinova et al; Optical: NASA/STScI; Infrared: NA
The same parts of the sun can look very different, depending on the lens you use.
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Spiral Galaxy With A Secret
Messier 106, a galaxy 20 million light-years away, has been shot many times by the Hubble Space Telescope. Amateur astronomer Robert Gendler combined Hubble images with his own for a computer-generated version with new details.
NASA/ESA/Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)|R. Gendler/Hubble Heritage Team
This is the Andromeda galaxy, one of the most famous objects in the northern sky.
Hubble Views a Dwarf Galaxy
This a dwarf galaxy called NGC 5477, near the Pinwheel Galaxy in the constellation of Ursa Major (the Great Bear) in the northern sky. The Hubble Space Telescope shot this image as part of a project to measure the distance to galaxies less than 30 million light-years from Earth.
Largest-Known Spiral Galaxy
This is NGC 6872, the largest known spiral galaxy ever seen in the sky. It is 522,000 light-years across from one end to the other, which makes it about 5 times the size of our Milky Way. Images were combined from three telescopes for this picture.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/ESO/JPL-Caltech/DSS
Solar flare 20 times the size of Earth
A solar eruption rising from the surface of the sun, as seen by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory in Earth orbit. This flare extends about 160,000 miles out into space. Earth is about 7,900 miles in diameter, so this relatively minor eruption is about 20 times as long as our planet is wide.
Why go to Mars when pieces of it have been found on Earth? This meteorite, designated NWA 7034, crashed in the Sahara Desert in 2011. An examination of the rock determined it is 2.1 billion years old and is surprisingly rich in water. Tiny air bubbles in the rock have the same composition as air measured by NASA Mars probes.
Carl Agee/University of New Mexico/AP Photo
Galaxy Packed With Black Holes
Looking a little like a Christmas bauble, this is the planet Saturn as seen from NASA's Cassini spacecraft. The ship was steered through Saturn's shadow for this picture. The planet's night side appears to glow green because of sunlight filtered through Saturn's murky atmosphere.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
Best Black Hole Recipe
This is a composite image of NGC 922, a ring galaxy about 157 million light-years from Earth. The reddest areas are probably black holes, formed by collapsing stars. This picture was created with images combined from the Hubble Space Telescope and the Chandra X-ray telescope, both in Earth orbit.
NASA/STSCI/Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
Swirls of Ice Seen From Space
A total solar eclipse as seen from Palm Cove, Australia, Nov. 14, 2012. Thousands of eclipse-watchers gathered in northern Australia to enjoy the solar eclipse, the first in Australia in a decade.
Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images
Deepest-Ever View of Universe
Swirls of sea ice in the fjords of Greenland, seen from NASA's Aqua satellite in orbit.
The Cat's Eye planetary nebula -- a dying star, with clouds of gas and debris around it. Astronomers have studied them in new detail, combining images from NASA's orbiting Chandra X-ray telescope and the Hubble space telescope.
X-ray: NASA/CXC/RIT/J.Kastner et al.; Optical: NASA/STScI
Strange Cloud in Milky Way
Astronomers have assembled a new, improved portrait of our deepest-ever view of the universe. Called the eXtreme Deep Field, or XDF, the photo was assembled by combining ten years of Hubble Space Telescope observations. Some of the galaxies in it are 13.2 billion years old. The universe itself formed 13.7 billion years ago.
NASA/ESA/G. Illingworth/D. Magee/P. Oesch/R. Bouwens/HUDF09 Team
The Hubble Space Telescope captured this image of the "butterfly wing"- shaped nebula, NGC 2346. The nebula is about 2,000 light-years away from Earth in the direction of the constellation Monoceros.
Japanese astronomers have discovered this unusual spiral cloud near the center of the Milky Way galaxy, about 30,000 light years away. They called it a "pigtail" molecular cloud because of its shape, which they say was probably determined by magnetic forces.
Keio University, Nobeyama Radio Observatory
Saturn and moon Titan seen from Cassini Probe
Saturn, with its largest moon, Titan, seen in this image from NASA's Cassini probe in orbit around the ringed planet. Since Cassini arrived in 2004, the seasons have changed on Saturn, which takes 30 Earth years to circle the sun. The southern hemisphere, approaching winter, has taken on a bluish hue.
Phoenix Cluster Sets Record Pace at Forming Stars
Astronomers have found one of the largest objects in the universe, a galaxy cluster where stars are forming more rapidly than anywhere else yet observed. It is called the Phoenix cluster, 5.7 billion light years away in the southern sky. It is seen in this artist's conception.
The Flame nebula, seen in infrared light by NASA's WISE spacecraft. This nebula is part of a giant star-forming complex near the belt of Orion, the constellation in the winter sky as seen from the Northern Hemisphere. The new stars are surrounded by dust and gas.
Black Hole Shreds Star
Our Milky Way galaxy is doomed. Scientists using the Hubble telescope have determined it will be destroyed -- 4 billion years from now, when it collides with the Andromeda galaxy. This artist's conception shows how the sky might look as the galaxies are drawn together by each other's gravity.
Z. Levay, R. van der Marel, and A. Mellinger/ESA/NASA
Meteor Shower Lights Up Skies
This computer-simulated image shows gas from a star falling into a black hole. Astronomers, reporting in the journal Nature, say they observed a flare in ultraviolet and optical light, telling them there was a black hole tearing a star apart.
NASA/S. Gezari (Johns Hopkins)/A. Rest (Space Telescope Science Institute)/R. Chornock(Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics)
A Star Is Born
A Lyrid meteor shoots across the night sky April 22, 2012. Debris from the comet Thatcher created this streak in the upper atmosphere Sunday, witnessed by people in California and northern Nevada.
Courtesy Marian Murdoch
A Star Is Born
The Lyrid meteor shower occurs around April 22 every year, as the Earth passes through the path of an old comet. Astronomers said the chances of seeing meteors would be good this year because a new moon meant the skies would be darker than usual.
Courtesy Marian Murdoch
Giant Solar Flare
This is a star nursery called 30 Doradus. It is 170,000 light-years away in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a small, satellite galaxy of our Milky Way, visible only from the Southern Hemisphere. This image was combined from several taken by the Hubble Space Telescope in October 2011.
Amazing Hi-Def Coronal Mass Ejection
A beautiful prominence seen shooting from the face of the sun by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. The flare is composed of hot, electrically-charged gases. This particular one was not coming in the direction of Earth, so satellites were safe and there were not large new auroras near the poles.
Space pictures: photos from the final frontier
This picture of Earth, taken on March 7, 2012, was reported by astronaut Don Pettit to be the one millionth shot from the International Space Station since station assembly began in 1998. Two Russian supply ships are in the foreground. The green band over Earth is an aurora.
Northern Lights Follow Solar Storm
The southern lights between Australia and Antarctica, seen from the International Space Station by Dutch astronaut Andre Kuipers.
New Auroras Seen From Space Station
Stars appear as circular streaks in this time-lapse photo from the International Space Station by astronaut Don Pettit. The ISS turns to keep one side oriented toward Earth.
Major Solar Flare Erupts
During a major solar storm, an aurora shimmers over snow-covered mountains in Faskrudsfjordur, Iceland, March 8, 2012.
Courtesy Jónína Óskarsdóttir/NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Major Solar Flare Erupts
An X5 solar flare, the strongest observed in 2012, seen through an ultraviolet filter by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory March 7, 2012.
Steamy Planet Orbits Star
The brightest star in the inset is proof there is a black hole in the Andromeda galaxy. A disc of gas and dust heats up and emits X-rays as the gravity of the black hole pulls it toward its doom.
Landessternwarte Tautenburg, XMM-Newton, MPE
Stellar Nursery in Stunning Detail
The Hubble Space Telescope has discovered a new class of planet, a water world enshrouded by a thick, steamy atmosphere. It is called GJ 1214b, and as seen in this artist's conception, it orbits a red dwarf star 40 light-years from Earth. Today it is hot and shrouded in vapor, but scientists say it may once have had liquid water.
NASA/ESA/David Aguilar : Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
The Ancient Oceans of Mars
Europe's Very Large Telescope in Chile has delivered the most detailed image yet of the Carina Nebula stellar nursery, found in the southern Milky Way. The nebula is a spectacular celestial landscape of gas, dust and young stars.
Carina Nebula Stellar Nursery
Former Ocean on Mars
Europe's Mars Express probe, orbiting the red planet, has sent back radar data reaffirming scientists' belief that the northern hemisphere of Mars once had vast oceans. The radar detected sediments reminiscent of an ocean floor inside previously identified, ancient shorelines on Mars.
Best Map Yet of Universe
This new image of the Earth is a composite shot by NASA's newest Earth-observing satellite, called Suomi NPP. Mexico is in the center of the frame, with Baja California to the left and Florida to the right.
NASA/NOAA/GSFC/Suomi NPP/VIIRS/Norman Kuring
A Galaxy Full of Planets
This is a map of a quarter of the known universe, the most detailed yet done. Each green dot is a galaxy. It was done by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey III.
David Kirkby/University of California at Irvine/SDSS
A Galaxy Full of Planets
NASA's Kepler spacecraft has detected three planets -- all of them smaller than Earth -- orbiting a red dwarf star, 130 light-years away in the constellation Cygnus. This is an artist's conception of the KOI-961 system. A separate study suggests the galaxy has at least 100 billion planets, many of which could be habitable.
A Galaxy Full of Planets
Remember Tattooine, Luke Skywalker's fanciful home planet from "Star Wars" with its two suns? The NASA Kepler probe has found two new solar systems that have double stars and at least one planet each. One is seen in this artist's conception. Many physicists had wondered if a planet could survive being flung around by the gravity of double stars.
Mark A. Garlick
A Galaxy Full of Planets
The Hubble Space Telescope found proof of a black hole at the center of the Andromeda galaxy, the only large galaxy visible to the naked eye in the northern sky. The black hole itself is invisible, but the inset shows a ring of reddish stars orbiting it.
T. Lauer/National Optical Astronomy Observatory/NASA/ESA
Space Station Over the Moon
A new infrared picture of the Large Magellanic Cloud galaxy was made by combining images from Europe's orbiting Herschel Space Observatory and NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. The Large Magellanic Cloud, one of the galaxies closest to our own Milky Way, is in the southern sky.
Space Station Flying by the Moon
The International Space Station, orbiting just 240 miles overhead, appears to hover over the moon, which orbits Earth about 240,000 miles away. A NASA photographer planted herself in just the right spot to shoot the two together.
Holiday 'Wreath' Nebula
A holiday "wreath" in space, captured by NASA's WISE space telescope. It's actually a star-forming nebula named Barnard 3. The red and green areas are interstellar gas of different chemical composition.
Saturn's Rings and Moons Seen from Cassini
Saturn's largest moon, Titan, with its thick atmosphere. Dione, the third-largest moon, peeks out from behind it to the right in this view of the two from NASA's Cassini spacecraft. Saturn itself, with its rings, looms in the background.
A Star is Born
This bipolar star-forming region, called Sharpless 2-106, looks like a celestial snow angel. It is nearly 2,000 light-years from us. A massive, young star, IRS 4 is in the middle of the formation. Twin lobes of super-hot gas, glowing blue in this image, stretch outward from it.
NASA/ESA/the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)