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NASA - Image of the Day

The latest NASA "Image of the Day" image.

Close-up View of Neutron Star Mission's X-Ray Concentrator Optics

A new NASA mission, the Neutron Star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER), is headed for the International Space Station to observe one of the strangest observable objects in the universe. In this photo, NICER’s X-ray concentrator optics are inspected for dust and foreign object debris that could impair functionality once in space.

Sequence of Juno Spacecraft's Close Approach to Jupiter

This sequence of enhanced-color images shows how quickly the viewing geometry changes for NASA’s Juno spacecraft as it swoops by Jupiter. The images were obtained by JunoCam.

May 24, 1962 - Scott Carpenter on the Way to Mercury-Atlas 7 Launch Site

Astronaut Scott Carpenter walks to the launch site to begin the Mercury-Atlas 7 (MA-7) mission on May 24, 1962. Carpenter's Aurora 7 capsule lifted off aboard an Atlas rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 7:45 a.m. EST, May 24. Carpenter was the fourth American in space and second American to orbit Earth.

NASA’s Mars 2020 Rover Artist’s Concept

This illustration depicts NASA's Mars 2020 rover on the surface of Mars. The mission, targeted for launch in July/August 2020, takes the next step by not only seeking signs of habitable conditions on Mars in the ancient past, but also searching for signs of past microbial life itself.

Slim Crescent of Ice

The low angle of sunlight along the slim crescent of Saturn's moon Enceladus.

CubeSats Deployed Outside Station's Kibo Lab Module

Three CubeSats, with the Earth's limb in the background, are seen moments after being ejected from a small satellite deployer outside of the International Space Station's Kibo laboratory module on Wednesday, May 16, 2017. Over a dozen CubeSats were ejected into Earth orbit this week to study Earth and space phenomena for the next one to two years.

May 18, 1969 - Apollo 10 View of the Earth

A view of Earth from 36,000 nautical miles away as photographed from the Apollo 10 spacecraft during its trans-lunar journey toward the moon. While the Yucatan Peninsula is obscured by clouds, nearly all of Mexico north of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec can be clearly delineated.

NASA's IceBridge Wraps Up 2017 Arctic Campaign With Southern Greenland Flight

A fjord in southern Greenland, as seen during Operation IceBridge's last flight of the 2017 Arctic campaign, on May 12, 2017. This final full science flight, ICESat-2 South, was designed along the ground tracks of NASA’s upcoming ICESat-2, to fill in a gap in altimetry coverage of central southern Greenland.

James Webb Space Telescope Primary Mirror Prepared for Testing at Johnson Space Center

The towering primary mirror of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope stands inside a cleanroom at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, where it will undergo its last cryogenic test before it is launched into space in 2018. In preparation for testing, the “wings” of the mirror (which consist of the three segments on each side) were spread open.

Short Shadow

The projection of Saturn's shadow on the rings grows shorter as Saturn’s season advances toward northern summer.

Rocket Blasts Off During 2017 Student Launch Challenge

Nearly 50 student teams from middle and high schools, colleges and universities in 22 states demonstrated advanced rocketry and engineering skills in NASA's 2017 Student Launch challenge. Teams spent eight months building and testing rockets designed to fly to an altitude of one mile, deploy an automated parachute system, and safely land for reuse.

NASA Astronaut Jack Fischer Prepares for Friday Spacewalk

Expedition 51 Flight Engineer Jack Fischer of NASA is seen inside the International Space Station in his spacesuit during a fit check, in preparation for a spacewalk on Friday, May 12, 2017. This will be the 200th spacewalk at the station for assembly and maintenance, the ninth spacewalk for NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson and the first for Fischer.

New View of the Crab Nebula

This composite image of the Crab Nebula, a supernova remnant, was assembled by combining data from five telescopes spanning nearly the entire breadth of the electromagnetic spectrum: the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array, the Spitzer Space Telescope, the Hubble Space Telescope, the XMM-Newton Observatory, and the Chandra X-ray Observatory.

NASA's P-3 Aircraft Flies Over Southeast Greenland

The shadow of NASA's P-3 aircraft is seen over an iceberg on a May 8, 2017 flight supporting NASA's Operation IceBridge mission. IceBridge began its final week of Arctic Spring 2017 surveys with a glacier-packed mission in Greenland, called Southeast Glaciers 01.

Hail the Hexagon

Saturn's hexagonal polar jet stream is the shining feature of almost every view of the north polar region of Saturn.

Panorama with Active Linear Dune in Gale Crater, Mars

This 360-degree mosaic from the Mast Camera (Mastcam) on NASA's Curiosity Mars rover looks out over a portion of the Bagnold Dunes, which stretch for several miles.

Illustration of an Earth-Sized 'Tatooine' Planet

This illustration shows a hypothetical planet covered in water around the binary star system of Kepler-35A and B. With two suns in its sky, Luke Skywalker's home planet Tatooine in "Star Wars" looks like a parched, sandy desert world. In real life, we know that two-star systems can indeed support planets.

North Pole of Enceladus

In the north, Enceladus' surface appears to be about as old as any in the solar system. The south, however, is an entirely different story.

NASA Marks Progress on Hardware for Orion's Second Flight with Space Launch System Rocket

Machining for NASA's Orion spacecraft, scheduled to fly on the second integrated flight with agency's Space Launch System rocket, is well underway at Ingersoll Machine Tools in Rockford, Illinois. The new deep space spacecraft will take humans farther into the solar system than we have ever traveled before.

Clouds ‘Roll’ Over Pacific Atolls

Areas near the equator are frequently cloudy, obscuring the view of Earth’s surface from space. April 7, 2017, was no different. On that day, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this natural-color image of clouds over the Gilbert Islands.

SLS Engine Section Test Article Loaded on Barge Pegasus

A engine section structural qualification test article for NASA's new rocket, the Space Launch System, is loaded onto the barge Pegasus at the agency's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. The test article now will make its way from Michoud to NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, for structural loads testing.

Cassini Captures Closest Images of Saturn's Atmosphere

This unprocessed image shows features in Saturn's atmosphere from closer than ever before. The view was captured by NASA's Cassini spacecraft during its first Grand Finale dive past the planet on April 26, 2017.

Cygnus Spacecraft Approaches Space Station in the Sunset

On Saturday April 22, 2017, Expedition 51 Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency photographed Orbital ATK's Cygnus spacecraft as it approached the International Space Station. Using the station's robotic Canadarm2, Cygnus was successfully captured by Pesquet and Commander Peggy Whitson at 6:05 a.m. EDT Saturday morning.

James Webb Space Telescope Mirror Seen in Full Bloom

It's springtime and the deployed primary mirror of NASA's James Webb Space Telescope looks like a spring flower in full bloom. Once launched into space, the Webb telescope’s 18-segmented gold mirror is specially designed to capture infrared light from the first galaxies that formed in the early universe.

NASA Astronaut Peggy Whitson Sets Spaceflight Record

534 days, 2 hours, 49 minutes and counting. NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson flew through the standing record for cumulative time spent in space by a U.S. astronaut at 1:27 a.m. EDT on April 24, 2017, and with the recent extension of her stay at the International Space Station, she has five months to rack up a new one.

NASA's Fleet of Satellites Keep an Eye on Earth

NASA's fleet of 18 Earth science missions in space, supported by aircraft, ships and ground observations, measure aspects of the environment that touch the lives of every person around the world. This visualization shows the NASA fleet in 2017.

Expedition 51 Launch to the International Space Station

The Soyuz MS-04 rocket launches from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Thursday, April 20, 2017 at 1:13 p.m. Baikonur time carrying NASA astronaut Jack Fischer and cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin of the Russian space agency Roscosmos into orbit to begin their four and a half month mission on the International Space Station.

The Arrhythmic Beating of a Black Hole Heart

At the center of the Centaurus galaxy cluster, there is a large elliptical galaxy called NGC 4696. Deeper still, there is a supermassive black hole buried within the core of this galaxy. New data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and other telescopes has revealed details about this giant black hole.

Liftoff of Orbital ATK Cargo Mission to International Space Station

The Orbital ATK Cygnus pressurized cargo module is carried atop the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Orbital ATK's seventh commercial resupply services mission will deliver 7,600 pounds of supplies, equipment and scientific research materials to the International Space Station.

Watercolor World

When imaged at infrared wavelengths that pierce the planet’s upper haze layer, the high-speed winds of Saturn's atmosphere produce watercolor-like patterns.

Hubble Sees Starbursts in Virgo

Starburst galaxies contain regions where stars are forming at such a breakneck rate that the galaxy is eating up its gas supply faster than it can be replenished.

Illustration of Cassini Spacecraft Diving Through Plume of 'Ocean World' Enceladus

This illustration shows NASA's Cassini spacecraft diving through the plume of Saturn's moon Enceladus, in 2015. Two veteran NASA missions are providing new details about icy, ocean-bearing moons of Jupiter and Saturn, further heightening the scientific interest of these and other "ocean worlds" in our solar system and beyond.

New Full-hemisphere Views of Earth at Night

NASA scientists are releasing new global maps of Earth at night, providing the clearest yet composite view of the patterns of human settlement across our planet. This composite image, one of three new full-hemisphere views, provides a view of the Americas at night.

New Technique For Designing and Manufacturing Heat Shields Under Study

Through NASA's Space Technology Research Fellowship (NSTRF) program, a fresh approach to designing and manufacturing heat-thwarting thermal protection systems - or heatshields - for spacecraft is being developed and tested, offering the promise of fabricating larger tile sizes while reducing labor, cost and waste.

Expedition 50 Soyuz MS-02 Landing

The Soyuz MS-02 spacecraft is seen as it lands with Expedition 50 Commander Shane Kimbrough of NASA and Flight Engineers Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko of Roscosmos near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan on Monday, April 10, 2017 (Kazakh time).

When Jovian Light and Dark Collide

This image, taken by the JunoCam imager on NASA’s Juno spacecraft, highlights a feature on Jupiter where multiple atmospheric conditions appear to collide.

Interment of John Glenn at Arlington National Cemetery

A horse drawn caisson carries former astronaut and U.S. Senator John Glenn to his final resting place during the interment ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery on Thursday, April 6, 2017, in Virginia. Glenn was the first American to orbit Earth on Feb. 20, 1962, in a five-hour flight aboard the Friendship 7 spacecraft.

Illustration of Cassini Spacecraft's Grand Finale Dive

This illustration shows NASA's Cassini spacecraft about to make one of its dives between Saturn and its innermost rings as part of the mission's grand finale. Cassini will make 22 orbits that swoop between the rings and the planet before ending its mission on Sept. 15, 2017, with a final plunge into Saturn.

Space Station View of Auroras

Expedition 50 Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency (ESA) photographed brightly glowing auroras from his vantage point aboard the International Space Station on March 27, 2017. Pesquet wrote, "The view at night recently has been simply magnificent: few clouds, intense auroras. I can’t look away from the windows."

Sliver of Saturn

Although only a sliver of Saturn's sunlit face is visible in this view, the mighty gas giant planet still dominates the view.

Dr. Nancy Grace Roman, Astronomer

Dr. Nancy Grace Roman is shown with a model of the Orbiting Solar Observatory (OSO) in 1962. She was the first Chief of Astronomy in the Office of Space Science at NASA Headquarters and the first woman to hold an executive position at NASA. She had oversight for the planning and development of programs including the Hubble Space Telescope.

Robotics Work on Space Station Set Up Thursday Spacewalk

The Pressurized Mating Adapter-3 (PMA-3) is in the grip of the International Space Station's Canadarm2 robotic arm during its relocation and attachment to the station's Harmony module on March 26,2017. A spacewalk by NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Peggy Whitson, which began at 7:29 a.m., will finalize the PMA-3 cable connections on Harmony.

The Splitting of the Dunes

The mound in the center of this Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter image appears to have blocked the path of the dunes as they marched south (north is to the left in this image) across the scene. Smaller dunes run perpendicular to some of the larger-scale dunes, probably indicating a shift in wind directions in this area.

Expedition 50 Spacewalks Prepare Station for Arrival of Commercial Crew Spacecraft

Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet of ESA is seen floating outside the International Space Station during a spacewalk. Pesquet and Expedition 50 Commander Shane Kimbrough of NASA conducted the six-hour-and-34-minute spacewalk on March 24, 2017. A second spacewalk, by Kimbrough and NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson, is scheduled for Thursday, March 30.

Dark Spot and Jovian ‘Galaxy’

This enhanced-color image of a mysterious dark spot on Jupiter seems to reveal a Jovian “galaxy” of swirling storms.

Hubble Spots Two Interacting Galaxies Defying Cosmic Convention

Hubble spots two interacting galaxies some 60 million light-years away in the constellation of Leo.

Dr. Ellen Ochoa on the Flight Deck of Shuttle Atlantis

On April 15, 2002, STS-110 Mission Specialist Ellen Ochoa works at the Remote Manipulator System controls on the aft flight deck of space shuttle Atlantis. Dr. Ochoa, a veteran astronaut, is currently the 11th director of Johnson Space Center. She became the first Hispanic woman to go to space when she served on the STS-56 mission.

Space Station View of Mount Etna Erupting

The Expedition 50 crew aboard the International Space Station had a nighttime view from orbit of Europe's most active volcano, Mount Etna, erupting on March 19, 2017. Astronaut Thomas Pesquet of ESA captured this image, writing, "Mount Etna, in Sicily. The volcano is currently erupting and the molten ava is visible from space, at night!"

Photographer Carla Thomas on a Supersonic Flight

“Armstrong Flight Research Center chief pilot Nils Larson and I were flying supersonic runs to note the handling qualities between the single seat and two seat F/A-18 aircraft for the Sonic Booms in Atmospheric Turbulence, or SonicBAT program," said Carla Thomas, one of NASA's two female in-flight photographers.

Mackenzie River in Canada's Northwest Territories

This view, acquired on Nov. 7, 2016, by the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8, shows a portion of Canada's Mackenzie River Delta and the town of Inuvik, home to more than 3,000 people. A frozen highway -- 194 kilometers (120 miles) long -- runs between the remote outposts of Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk along the river’s East Channel.

Dublin at Night

Expedition 50 Commander Shane Kimbrough of NASA shared this nighttime image of Dublin on March 17, 2017, writing, "Happy #StPatricksDay Spectacular #Dublin, Ireland captured by @thom_astro from @Space_Station. Enjoy the #StPatricksFest Parade down there!"

Annie Easley, Computer Scientist and Mathematician

Annie Easley at NASA Glenn Research Center. In 1955, Easley began her career at NASA, then the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), as a human computer performing complex mathematical calculations.

NASA's Webb Telescope Ghostly 'Lights Out' Inspection

The technicians who are inspecting the telescope and its expansive golden mirrors look like ghostly wraiths in this image as they conduct a "lights out inspection" in the Spacecraft Systems Development and Integration Facility (SSDIF) at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

Traffic-free and Sky-high

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Aqua satellite captured this natural-color image of cloud streets over the Barents Sea and Mezhdusharsky Island on March 7, 2017. Such formations occur frequently in the region in late winter.

The Big One

Mimas' gigantic crater Herschel lies near the moon's limb in this Cassini view.

Hubble Homes In on a Hypergiant's Home

The super star cluster Westerlund 1, only 15,000 light-years away in our Milky Way neighborhood, hosts one of the largest stars ever discovered.

NASA's Orion Spacecraft Parachutes Tested at U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground

Engineers Successfully Test the Parachutes for NASA's Orion Spacecraft at the U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground

Women Scientists at NASA in January 1959

January 1959. Women Scientists Lucille Coltrane, Jean Clark Keating, Katherine Cullie Speegle, Doris 'Dot' Lee, Ruth Whitman, and Emily Stephens Mueller.

A Mass of Viscous Flow Features

Viscous, lobate flow features are commonly found at the bases of slopes in the mid-latitudes of Mars, and are often associated with gullies.

Technicians Secure the Protective Covering Around Cygnus

In the Space Station Processing Facility high bay at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the Orbital ATK Cygnus pressurized cargo module is secured the KAMAG transporter and the crane has been removed.