By combining the power of a “natural lens” in space with the capability of NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers made a surprising discovery—the first example of a compact yet massive, fast-spinning, disk-shaped galaxy that stopped making stars only a few billion years after the big bang.
This image was acquired by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera aboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on April 18, 2017, at 14:04 local Mars time. It reminded the HiRISE team of the rugged and open terrain of a stark shore-line, perhaps of the British Isles.
On August 21, 2017, the Earth will cross the shadow of the moon, creating a total solar eclipse. Eclipses happen about every six months, but this one is special. For the first time in almost 40 years, the path of the moon’s shadow passes through the continental United States.
Over the weekend of June 17-18, engineers on the ground remotely operated the International Space Station’s Canadarm2 to extract the Roll Out Solar Array experiment from the SpaceX Dragon resupply ship. The experiment will remain attached to the Canadarm2 over seven days to test this advanced, flexible array that rolls out like a tape measure.
NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope sits in front of the door to Chamber A, a giant thermal vacuum chamber located at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. The telescope will soon be moved into the chamber, where it will spend a hot Houston summer undergoing tests at sub-freezing cryogenic temperatures.
NASA’s Juno spacecraft was racing away from Jupiter following its seventh close pass of the planet when JunoCam snapped this image on May 19, 2017, from about 29,100 miles (46,900 kilometers) above the cloud tops.
NASA’s Cassini spacecraft sees bright methane clouds drifting in the summer skies of Saturn’s moon Titan, along with dark hydrocarbon lakes and seas clustered around the north pole.
NASA astronaut Jack Fischer took this photograph of an American flag in one of the windows of the International Space Station’s cupola, a dome-shaped module through which operations on the outside of the station can be observed and guided. Throughout NASA’s history, spacecraft and launch vehicles have always been decorated with flags.
This artist illustration shows the thick ring of dust that can obscure the energetic processes that occur near the supermassive black hole of an active galactic nuclei. Researchers have found that the dust surrounding active, ravenous black holes is much more compact than previously thought.
On May 29, 2017, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured the data for this image of an ongoing phytoplankton bloom in the Black Sea. The image is a mosaic, composed from multiple satellite passes over the region.
In biology, “symbiosis” refers to two organisms that live close to and interact with one another. Astronomers have long studied a class of stars – called symbiotic stars – that co-exist in a similar way. Astronomers are gaining a better understanding of how volatile this close stellar relationship can be.