Pictures from space! Our image of the day, Space.com Staff,

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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!

Hubble eyes a two-armed galaxy

(Image credit: ESA/NASA.Hubble/A. Riess et al.)

Friday, May 8, 2020: This new image from the Hubble Space Telescope features the barred spiral galaxy NGC 3583. Located some 98 million light-years away from Earth in the constellation Ursa Major, NGC 3583 is about three-quarters the size of our Milky Way galaxy. But while the Milky Way has four distinct spiral arms that wrap around its galactic core, NGC 3583 has two long arms that twist out into the universe. Astronomers have observed two supernova explosions in this galaxy, one in 1975 and then again in 2015. — Hanneke Weitering

Full Flower Supermoon

(Image credit: Kevin M. Gill/Flickr/CC BY 2.0)

Thursday, May 7, 2020: The nearly-full moon of May, known as the Flower Moon, gleams against the twilight sky in this photo taken by Kevin M. Gill of Los Angeles, California, on Wednesday night. The moon reached full phase this morning at 6:45 a.m. EDT (1045 GMT). According to NASA, this was the fourth and final “supermoon” of 2020, although some astronomers disagree about whether it qualified as a “supermoon.” — Hanneke Weitering

(Image credit: ESO/Digitized Sky Survey 2/Davide De Martin)

Wednesday, May 6, 2020: Lurking stealthily in the center of this wide-field image of the Telescopium constellation is the closest black hole to Earth, a record-breaking discovery that astronomers announced today. The newfound black hole is located about 1,000 light-years from Earth in what astronomers originally believed to be a binary, or double-star system. But thorough observations of the star system, called HR 6819, revealed an invisible third object influencing the stars’ orbits. Although the black hole itself is invisible, the stars in the HR 6819 system are bright enough to see without a telescope in a dark, clear sky from the Southern Hemisphere. This image of HR 6819 was captured as part of the Digitized Sky Survey 2. — Hanneke Weitering

An astronaut’s view of the Big Apple

(Image credit: NASA)

Tuesday, May 5, 2020: This photo of Earth from space, captured by an astronaut at the International Space Station, features the Greater New York City area, including parts of Westchester, Long Island and New Jersey. An Expedition 63 crewmember captured this view of the Big Apple from approximately 257 miles (413 kilometers) overhead on April 28. — Hanneke Weitering

Mexico seen from space

(Image credit: NASA)

Monday, May 4, 2020: An astronaut on board the International Space Station captured almost all of Mexico in a single shot while photographing planet Earth from inside the station’s Cupola observatory. Framing the shot is the center window of the Cupola, and the golden solar array of a Cygnus cargo spacecraft is visible below. You can find an annotated version of this image from NASA here. — Hanneke Weitering

“Stretched” spiral galaxy bursts with baby stars

(Image credit: ESA/NASA/Hubble/L. Ho)

Friday, May 1, 2020: A new image from the Hubble Space Telescope features the sparkling spiral galaxy NGC 4100, which is teeming with baby stars. The galaxy’s spiral arms are speckled with pockets of bright blue starlight radiating from hot newborn stars. NGC 4100 is located about 67 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Ursa Major, and it belongs to a group of galaxies called the Ursa Major Cluster. It’s about three-quarters the size of the Milky Way, which is also a spiral galaxy, and it “looks almost stretched across the sky” in this new view, Hubble scientists said in a statement. The space telescope captured this image using its Advanced Camera for Surveys, and it was released today (May 1). — Hanneke Weitering

“Spiders” spotted on Mars

(Image credit: NASA/JPL/UArizona)

Thursday, April 30, 2020: Strange, spider-like features creep on the surface of Mars in this image taken by the High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on board NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. These spidery landforms are what scientists call “araneiform” terrain, which literally translates to “spider-like.” The features arise because the Red Planet’s climate is so cold that during the Martian winter, carbon dioxide freezes from the atmosphere and accumulates as ice on the surface. When that ice begins to thaw in the spring, that carbon dioxide sublimates back into the atmosphere, or turns from a solid to a gas, leaving behind deep troughs in the terrain as gas is trapped below the surface. — Hanneke Weitering

Dwarf galaxy “steals the show” in Hubble image

(Image credit: ESA/NASA/Hubble/T. Armandroff)

Wednesday, April 29, 2020: In a deep-space image featuring countless distant galaxies of all shapes and sizes, a tiny dwarf galaxy takes center stage. The small elliptical galaxy in the foreground of this new Hubble Space Telescope image is known as PGC 29388. It contains between 100 million to a few billion stars, which pales in comparison to our Milky Way galaxy, which has 250 to 400 billion stars. “As beautiful as the surrounding space may be, the sparkling galaxy in the foreground of this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope undeniably steals the show,” Hubble scientists said in a statement. The image was released on April 20, a few days before the telescope celebrated its 30th anniversary. — Hanneke Weitering

Milky Way sparkles over La Silla

(Image credit: Petr Horalek/ESO)

Tuesday, April 28, 2020: The arc of the Milky Way galaxy shimmers over the La Silla Observatory in Chile in this gorgeous night-sky view by European Southern Observatory (ESO) photo ambassador Petr Horalek. In the center of the image is the ESO 3.6-metre telescope, and to its left is the Swiss 1.2-metre Leonhard Euler telescope. Visible beneath the righthand limb of the Milky Way’s starry arc are the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, two satellite galaxies of the Milky Way. Saturn is visible under the left side of the arc, with Jupiter glowing brightly just above it and slightly to the left. You can see more in a 360-degree panoramic version of this image here. — Hanneke Weitering

Venus meets the crescent moon

(Image credit: Gianluca Masi/The Virtual Telescope Project)

Monday, April 27, 2020: The bright “evening star” Venus shines near the crescent moon in this photo captured by astrophysicist Gianluca Masi of the Virtual Telescope Project in Rome. Venus and the moon made a close approach in the evening sky yesterday (April 26), and the planet will reach its greatest brightness of the year tomorrow (April 28). — Hanneke Weitering

Hubble captures a “cosmic reef”

(Image credit: NASA/ESA/STScI)

Friday, April 24, 2020: Happy birthday, Hubble! To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope, NASA released this new image of a “cosmic undersea world” that is teeming with stars and colorful clouds of interstellar dust and gas. The image features the giant red nebula NGC 2014 and its smaller blue companion NGC 2020, both located in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a small satellite galaxy of the Milky Way located 163,000 light-years from Earth. Hubble scientists have nicknamed the image the “Cosmic Reef,” because the large nebula “resembles part of a coral reef floating in a vast sea of stars,” Hubble officials said in a statement. — Hanneke Weitering

A Lyrid meteor and the Milky Way

(Image credit: Courtesy of Tina Pappas Lee)

Thursday, April 23, 2020: A “shooting star” crosses the Milky Way galaxy in this photo taken during the peak of the annual Lyrid meteor shower. Photographer Tina Pappas Lee captured this view from Fripp Island, South Carolina, on Wednesday (April 22) at approximately 4:45 a.m. local time. Directly below the meteor, two of the brightest planets in the night sky, Jupiter and Saturn, are visible side by side. — Hanneke Weitering

Apollo 16’s “Earthrise”

(Image credit: NASA)

Wednesday, April 22, 2020: Happy Earth Day from space! This stunning view of Earth rising above the lunar horizon was captured by NASA’s Apollo 16 crew shortly before they landed on the moon 48 years ago. The astronauts snapped this picture, which appears to have been inspired by Apollo 13’s famous “Earthrise” photo, on April 20, 1972, the same day the lunar module Orion touched down on the surface with NASA astronauts John Young, Apollo 16 commander, and lunar module pilot Charlie Duke. Command module pilot Ken Mattingly stayed in orbit during their 71-hour stay on on the surface. — Hanneke Weitering

(Image credit: NASA)

Tuesday, April 21, 2020: A chain of SpaceX’s Starlink internet satellites orbits over Earth’s lime-green auroras in this photo captured by an astronaut at the International Space Station. The tiny satellite trails were captured on Monday (April 13) at 5:25 p.m. EDT (2125 GMT), as the station was passing over the southern Indian Ocean at an altitude of about 231 nautical miles (428 kilometers), NASA said in an image description. The satellites pictured here appear to belong to the fifth batch of approximately 60 satellites that SpaceX has launched for its new Starlink constellation, according to Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics who avidly tracks objects in Earth’s orbit. The company plans to launch its seventh batch of satellites on Wednesday (April 22). — Hanneke Weitering

Related: No, they’re not aliens — SpaceX’s Starlink satellites surprise British skywatchers

Meteor and the Milky Way over La Silla

(Image credit: M. Zamani/ESO)

Monday, April 20, 2020: A “shooting star” streaks through the night sky near the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, two of Earth’s galactic neighbors, in this photo from the La Silla Observatory in Chile. In the foreground of the image are two of the three new ExTrA (Exoplanets in Transits and their Atmospheres) telescopes at the observatory. — Hanneke Weitering

(Image credit: Andrey Shelepin/NASA/GCTC)

Friday, April 17, 2020: The Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft carrying three astronauts back from the International Space Station parachutes down to Earth before landing in Kazakhstan. NASA astronauts Jessica Meir and Drew Morgan and their Russian crewmember Oleg Skripochka of Roscosmos safely touched down today at 1:16:43 a.m. EDT (0516 GMT or 11:16 a.m. local Kazakh time), southeast of the town of Dzhezkazgan. — Hanneke Weitering

Hubble eyes a multiring galaxy

(Image credit: ESA/NASA/Hubble/J. Greene)

Thursday, April 16, 2020: The Hubble Space Telescope has captured this new view of a peculiar spiral galaxy with rings within its winding galactic arms. Known as NGC 2273, this galaxy is officially designated as a barred spiral, meaning that it has a central bar of stars and pinwheeling arms. But this galaxy also has several ring structures within its spiral arms. NGC 2273 hosts one inner ring along with two outer “pseudorings.” Astronomers believe these rings were created by spiral arms appearing to wind up tightly into a closed loop. — Hanneke Weitering

(Image credit: NASA)

Wednesday, April 15, 2020: Earth’s fluffy clouds and blue horizon provide a gorgeous backdrop for the Soyuz MS-16 crew spacecraft, seen here approaching the International Space Station with three Expedition 63 crewmembers on board. The Soyuz arrived at the orbiting lab on Thursday (April 9) with NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy and Russian cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner. An astronaut at the International Space Station captured this image from approximately 250 miles (400 kilometers) above the Pacific Ocean, near the coast of Peru. — Hanneke Weitering

A shimmering dance

An astronaut on the International Space Station captured this image of the aurora australis over the Indian Ocean on April 8, 2020.

(Image credit: NASA)

Tuesday, April 14, 2020: An astronaut on the International Space Station captured this image of the aurora australis over the Indian Ocean on April 8, 2020. At the time, the space station was near the southernmost point in its orbit, and preparing for the arrival of three new crewmembers. — Meghan Bartels

Goodbye, Earth!

(Image credit: ESA/BepiColombo/MTM, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO)

Monday, April 13, 2020: On April 10, the European-Japanese spacecraft BepiColombo conducted a flyby of Earth, which slowed the probe’s speed enough to turn its trajectory toward the inner solar system. The next day, the spacecraft took its final image of Earth, a delicate bright crescent in the vastness of space. — Meghan Bartels

The day before launch

(Image credit: NASA)

Friday, April 10, 2020: Fifty years ago today, NASA astronauts Jack Swigert, Jim Lovell and Fred Haise posed with a model of the spacecraft they would launch on the next day for the mission dubbed Apollo 13. The flight was plagued with challenges even before launch, and the crew would experience a catastrophic explosion in the mission’s service module, but all three returned to Earth safely. — Meghan Bartels

Expedition 63 lifts off

(Image credit: Andrey Shelepin/NASA/GCTC)

Thursday, April 9, 2020: A Russian Soyuz rocket soars toward the International Space Station with three Expedition 63 crewmembers after lifting off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan today (April 9) at 4:05 a.m. EDT (0805 GMT or 1:05 p.m. local Kazakh time). The Soyuz MS-16 crew capsule safely arrived at the orbiting laboratory about six hours later, with NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy and Russian cosmonauts Anatoli Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner on board. — Hanneke Weitering

“Pink Moon” seen from space

(Image credit: NASA)

Wednesday, April 8, 2020: The nearly-full Pink Moon rises over a cloud-covered Earth in this photo taken by an astronaut at the International Space Station. This photo was taken on Monday (April 6), one day before the supermoon, or a full moon that coincides with the moon’s perigee, the closest point to Earth in its orbit. Because the full moon of April is traditionally called the Pink Moon, last night’s supermoon has been referred to as the “Super Pink Moon.” — Hanneke Weitering

Juno spots hazy clouds on Jupiter

(Image credit: NASA/JPL/SwRI/MSSS/Gerald Eichstadt)

Tuesday, April 7, 2020: Hazy clouds streak across Jupiter’s northern hemisphere in this new image from NASA’s Juno spacecraft. These long, thin cloud bands consist of haze particles that drift above the planet’s underlying cloud features. While the cause of these wispy clouds is still a bit of a mystery, scientists believe the hazy features could be related to Jupiter’s jet streams. “Two jet streams in Jupiter’s atmosphere flank either side of the region where the narrow bands of haze typically appear, and some researchers speculate those jet streams may influence the formation of the high hazes,” NASA officials said in a statement. T

he Juno orbiter captured this image during its 25th close flyby of Jupiter, also known as a perijove, on Feb. 17 at 12:29 p.m. EST (1729 GMT), when the spacecraft was about 15,610 miles (25,120 kilometers) from the planet’s cloud tops. — Hanneke Weitering

Two Saturnian moons

(Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI/CICLOPS/Kevin M. Gill)

Monday, April 6, 2020: Saturn’s moons Rhea and Janus tango on opposite sides of the planet’s famous ring system in this new color-enhanced image from NASA’s Cassini orbiter. Rhea, Saturn’s second-largest moon, is visible in the foreground, while the smaller moon Janus is pictured in the distance across the rings. Citizen scientist Kevin Gill recently processed this 10-year-old view of Saturn and two of its moons using calibrated red, green and blue filtered images captured by the Cassini spacecraft on March 28, 2010. — Hanneke Weitering

Hubble eyes a one-arm spiral galaxy

(Image credit: ESA/NASA/Hubble/I. Karachentsev)

Friday, April 3, 2020: A new Hubble Space Telescope image reveals the peculiar structure of a spiral galaxy with only one starry arm rotating about its center. While most barred spiral galaxies are characterized by a distinct bar-shaped structure of stars centered on a galactic core, this barred spiral isn’t like most others. Located 21 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Canes Venatici, this strange galaxy, known as NGC 4618, was first thought to be a star cluster when the astronomer William Herschel discovered it in 1787. Astronomers now think that gravitational interactions with a neighboring galaxy may have influenced this galaxy’s shape. — Hanneke Weitering

Venus meets the Pleiades

(Image credit: Gianluca Masi/The Virtual Telescope Project)

Thursday, April 2, 2020: The bright planet Venus begins its trek past the Pleiades star cluster, also known as the “Seven Sisters,” in this photo taken by astrophysicist Gianluca Masi of the Virtual Telescope Project in Italy on Wednesday (April 1). Venus, which reaches its greatest brightness of the year at the end of the month, will make a close approach to the Pleiades tomorrow (April 3), when the two objects will be in conjunction — meaning they share the same celestial longitude — for the first time in 8 years. During the conjunction, Venus will be just one-quarter of a degree southeast of Alcyone, the brightest star in the cluster. Look for the pair in the western evening sky. You can also watch a live stream of the encounter from the Virtual Telescope Project here, starting at 1:30 p.m. EDT (1730 GMT). — Hanneke Weitering

Webb telescope deploys its mirrors

(Image credit: Chris Gunn/NASA)

Wednesday, April 1, 2020: NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope has successfully deployed its giant primary mirror, putting the new observatory one big step closer to being ready for launch in 2021. The entire 256-inch (6.5 meters) primary mirror assembly unfurled into the same configuration that it would be after deploying in space. This critical test took place in early March, right before NASA’s centers shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. Work on the Webb telescope was temporarily halted on March 20. It is scheduled to launch in March 2021, though even before the coronavirus pandemic, that date was expected to slip. — Hanneke Weitering

A “fluffy” spiral galaxy

(Image credit: ESA/NASA/Hubble/P. Erwin et al.)

Tuesday, March 31, 2020: While most spiral galaxies have clearly defined arms the twist around a galactic core, others have patchy spiral arms that are not clearly distinguishable and resemble cotton wool. Due to this wooly appearance, the galaxy NGC 4237, shown here in a new image from the Hubble Space Telescope, is classified as a “flocculent” spiral galaxy. Located 60 million light-years from Earth in the constellation of Coma Berenices, or “Berenice’s Hair,” NGC 4237 has been a target for astronomers, not because of its fluffy appearance, but because its bright central region may bear clues about how supermassive black holes form inside galaxies. — Hanneke Weitering

Airglow shines over Malaysia and Indonesia

(Image credit: NASA)

Monday, March 30, 2020: City lights of Malaysia and Indonesia light up the Earth beneath a blanket of blue and orange airglow while boat lights glow in the Bay of Bengal in this nighttime view of Earth from space. An Expedition 62 astronaut captured this photo from the International Space Station on March 21, when the space station was orbiting 262 miles (422 kilometers) overhead. — Hanneke Weitering

Comet Atlas blazes through the night sky

Image 1 of 2

Comet C/2019 Y4 Atlas is slowly brightening in the night sky as it gets ready to swing around the sun in a couple months. Astrophotographer Mike Cuffe captured these two images of the green comet through his backyard telescope on Monday (March 23). In the first stacked image, the comet appears a bit blurry as it moves across a fixed background of stars. For the second image, the telescope was fixed on the comet, so the background stars appear as short trails behind a sharper image of the comet. Comet C/2019 Y4 Atlas is expected to make its closest approach to Earth on May 23, about one week before it reaches perihelion, or its closest point to the sun. It will brighten dramatically during this approach, and it may become visible to the naked eye in late April or May.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Mike Cuff)
Image 2 of 2

Comet C/2019 Y4 Atlas is slowly brightening in the night sky as it gets ready to swing around the sun in a couple months. Astrophotographer Mike Cuffe captured these two images of the green comet through his backyard telescope on Monday (March 23). In the first stacked image, the comet appears a bit blurry as it moves across a fixed background of stars. For the second image, the telescope was fixed on the comet, so the background stars appear as short trails behind a sharper image of the comet. Comet C/2019 Y4 Atlas is expected to make its closest approach to Earth on May 23, about one week before it reaches perihelion, or its closest point to the sun. It will brighten dramatically during this approach, and it may become visible to the naked eye in late April or May.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Mike Cuff)

Friday, March 27, 2020: Comet C/2019 Y4 Atlas is slowly brightening in the night sky as it gets ready to swing around the sun in a couple months. Astrophotographer Mike Cuffe captured these two images of the green comet through his backyard telescope on Monday (March 23). In the first stacked image, the comet appears a bit blurry as it moves across a fixed background of stars. For the second image, the telescope was fixed on the comet, so the background stars appear as short trails behind a sharper image of the comet. Comet C/2019 Y4 Atlas is expected to make its closest approach to Earth on May 23, about one week before it reaches perihelion, or its closest point to the sun. It will brighten dramatically during this approach, and it may become visible to the naked eye in late April or May. — Hanneke Weitering

Atlas V rocket stands ready for launch

(Image credit: ULA)

Thursday, March 26, 2020: A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket stands ready for launch on Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The rocket is scheduled to launch the U.S. Space Force’s sixth and final Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellite, or AEHF-6, today during a 2-hour launch window that opens at 2:57 p.m. EDT (1857 GMT). AEHF-6 will be the first national security mission for the Space Force, and this Atlas V will be the first rocket to launch bearing the Space Force’s new logo. You can watch the launch live here. — Hanneke Weitering

VLT’s Laser Guide Star

(Image credit: Petr Horalek/ESO)

Wednesday, March 25, 2020: The European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) beams its laser guide star into the night sky over Chile, creating a beam of light that arcs above the Milky Way galaxy. Astronomers use giant laser beams like these to help their telescopes correct for the distortion caused by turbulence in Earth’s atmosphere, which can make stars appear to twinkle. For observations at the VLT, astronomers rely on the Laser Guide Star Facility at the Paranal Observatory in Chile. Pictured in the foreground are four domes of the SPECULOOS Southern Observatory. — Hanneke Weitering

Orion and the USS John P. Murtha

(Image credit: Kenny Allen/NASA)

Tuesday, March 24, 2020: NASA’s Orion crew capsule floats behind the USS John P. Murtha in the Pacific Ocean after the landing and recovery crews from the Exploration Ground Systems team at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center performed their first full mission profile test of recovery procedures for the Artemis 1 mission, on March 13. Scheduled to launch in the second half of 2021, the Artemis 1 mission will mark the first uncrewed test flight of NASA’s Space Launch System megarocket and Orion spacecraft. After landing, air bags on top of the spacecraft will ensure that the capsule floats upright. — Hanneke Weitering

Curiosity snaps a selfie on Mars

(Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

Monday, March 23, 2020: NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity snapped this selfie after drilling a hole at a rock feature called “Hutton” and making its way up to the Greenheugh Pediment, the rocky mound seen here behind the rover and to the left. This panorama combines 86 images taken by the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) camera on Curiosity’s robotic arm on Feb. 26, the 2,687th Martian day, or “sol,” of the rover’s mission on the Red Planet. You can see an annotated version of this image here. — Hanneke Weitering

Auroras and airglow over Earth

(Image credit: NASA)

Friday, March 20, 2020: Green auroras clash with orange airglow in this stunning view of Earth from the International Space Station. An Expedition 62 crewmember captured this photo from 263 miles (423 kilometers) above the Earth as the space station passed over Kazakhstan on Tuesday (March 17). Three weeks from now, three new space station crewmembers are scheduled to launch from Kazakhstan to the orbiting laboratory. NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy and two Russian cosmonauts, Anatoli Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner, lift off on a Soyuz rocket April 9. — Hanneke Weitering

Milky Way over ELT

(Image credit: Petr Horalek/ESO)

Thursday, March 19, 2020: In this stunning night sky photo, the full arc of the Milky Way galaxy glitters over a photographer’s shadow at the construction site for the European Southern Observatory’s Extremely Large Telescope (ELT), on the Chilean mountain Cerro Armazones. Scheduled to open in 2025, ELT will be “the world’s biggest eye on the sky,” with a 39-meter (128-foot) primary mirror. ELT will scan the skies in optical and near-infrared wavelengths of light to search for worlds beyond our solar system, particularly for potentially Earth-like exoplanets. It will also help astronomers study how planets, stars, galaxies and black holes formed in the early universe. — Hanneke Weitering

A stellar nursery in the Tarantula Nebula

(Image credit: ESA/NASA/Hubble/I. Stephens)

Wednesday, March 18, 2020: A new Hubble Space Telescope image features a stellar nursery on the outskirts of the Tarantula Nebula. Known as LHA 120-N 150, this bright pink space cloud is located more than 160,000 light-years away from Earth in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a dwarf galaxy that orbits the Milky Way. This colorful nebula is rich with new star formation, and it has an “exceptionally high concentration of massive stars, Hubble scientists said in a statement. By studying LHA 120-N 150, astronomers hope to learn more about the kind of environment in which massive stars form. — Hanneke Weitering

Happy St. Patrick’s Day from space!

(Image credit: Andrew Morgan/NASA/Twitter)

Tuesday, March 17, 2020: To honor St. Patrick’s day at the International Space Station today, NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan tweeted this photo of an Irish flag floating in one of the windows of the Cupola observatory in the orbiting lab. One of the space station’s solar arrays is visible through the window, while Earth provides a cloudy backdrop. Along with this photo of the flag, Morgan tweeted a photo of Ireland, also known as the Emerald Isle, that he captured from the space station. — Hanneke Weitering

U.S. Eastern Seaboard seen from space

A new view of Earth from the International Space Station features much of the Eastern Seaboard of the U.S., stretching from New York City to South Carolina. NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan shared the photo on Twitter last Thursday (March 12). In the foreground on the left side of the frame is Northrop Grumman's Cygnus NG-13 cargo resupply spacecraft, which arrived at the space station Feb. 18. On the right is a portion of the station's Canadarm2 robotic arm.

(Image credit: Andrew Morgan/NASA/Twitter)

Monday, March 16, 2020: A new view of Earth from the International Space Station features much of the Eastern Seaboard of the U.S., stretching from New York City to South Carolina. NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan shared the photo on Twitter last Thursday (March 12). In the foreground on the left side of the frame is Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus NG-13 cargo resupply spacecraft, which arrived at the space station Feb. 18. On the right is a portion of the station’s Canadarm2 robotic arm. — Hanneke Weitering

A galaxy with “hunger pangs”

(Image credit: ESA/NASA/Hubble)

Friday, March 13, 2020: A new Hubble Space Telescope image of the spiral galaxy NGC 1589 reveals the galaxy’s bright central bulge, where a supermassive black hole is lurking in a group of tightly packed stars. The galaxy “was once the scene of a violent bout of cosmic hunger pangs,” Hubble astronomers said in a statement.

Located 168 million light-years from Earth in the Taurus constellation, NGC 1589 was discovered by William Herschel in 1783. “As astronomers looked on, a poor, hapless star was seemingly torn apart and devoured by the ravenous supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy,” the Hubble team said. Now astronomers are using Hubble to look for any evidence of stellar debris that was ejected when the star ripped apart. — Hanneke Weitering

China’s city lights seen from space

(Image credit: NASA)

Thursday, March 12, 2020: City lights illuminate southeast China by night in this photo taken by an astronaut at the International Space Station. The large, bright cluster of lights near the center of this image represent the city of Shanghai, the most highly populated city in the country, located on the coast of the East China Sea. The small, dense cluster just to the left of Shanghai is the city of Hefei, the capital of Anhui and the largest city in that province of China. In the bottom left corner of the image is Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province and “ground zero” of the novel coronavirus outbreak. This photo was taken on March 5, as the International Space Station passed over the Asian continent at an altitude of about 259 miles (417 kilometers). — Hanneke Weitering

Related: Dramatic effect of coronavirus lockdowns seen from space

Milky Way sparkles over Yellowstone

(Image credit: Chirag Upreti)

Wednesday, March 11, 2020: The Milky Way shimmers over Yellowstone National Park in this starry night-sky photo by Chirag Upreti. This panorama combines 10 frames captured from the “Mound and Jupiter Terrace” at Mammoth Hot Springs, and it features an excellent view of the planet Jupiter, shining brightly to the right of the Milky Way while reflecting off the surface of the water below. Saturn is also visible in the photo, shining to the left of the Milky Way, directly above the asterism known as the Teapot.

“The Dark Horse Nebula can be seen apparently jumping over the mound and to the right of Jupiter,” Upreti told Space.com. “It was an amazing experience to witness the stars and the Milky Way, knowing you are standing over terrain dictated by the raw power of a supervolcano, an incredible place to feel the bond between Earth and the night sky.” — Hanneke Weitering

“Super Worm Moon” rises over Washington

(Image credit: Joel Kowsky/NASA)

Tuesday, March 10, 2020: The first supermoon of the year peers through a blanket of clouds above the U.S. Capitol in Washington in this photo captured by NASA photographer Joel Kowsky on Monday (March 9). Also known as the “Worm Moon,” the full moon of March nearly coincided with the moon’s perigee, or the closest point to Earth in the moon’s elliptical orbit. The moon was officially full on Monday at 1:48 p.m. EDT (1748 GMT), and it reached perigee almost 13 hours later, at 2:33 a.m. EDT (0633 GMT) today. — Hanneke Weitering

(Image credit: NASA/Jessica Meir via Twitter)

Monday, March 9, 2020: This Dragon cargo ship marked the end of an era of sorts for private spaceship builder SpaceX when it arrived at the International Space Station today. The Dragon CRS-20 spacecraft seen here is the last SpaceX Dragon to be captured by a robotic arm and attached to the station. Future SpaceX Dragon resupply flights will use the company’s new Dragon 2 version, which can dock itself at the station.

NASA astronaut Jessica Meir unveiled this photo on Twitter after using the station’s robotic arm to capture the Dragon capsule. She wrote: “From now on, SpaceX will automatically dock to station. This Dragon capsule has been on station 2 times prior – sustainability is paramount to future space exploration.” — Tariq Malik

A weird crater on Mars

(Image credit: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin)

Friday, March 6, 2020: A new image from the European Space Agency’s Mars Express orbiter reveals an odd, misshapen impact crater on Mars known as Moreux crater. While most craters appear roughly circular in shape, the outline of Moreux crater is shaped more like a fried egg. The crater’s dark walls appear ridged and rippled, while dark brown and black dunes are smeared across the crater floor. The tall peak in its center is a pile of material that was ejected from the Martian terrain when the initial impact happened a few million years ago. Moreux crater’s contorted appearance developed over a long period of time, as erosion, wind and glacial activity shaped the planet’s surface. This image was created using data collected by the High Resolution Stereo Camera on Mars Express, when the spacecraft flew over the area in October 2019. — Hanneke Weitering

An astronaut’s view of NYC

(Image credit: Jessica Meir/NASA/Twitter)

Thursday, March 5, 2020: A new view of New York City captured from the International Space Station show’s the city’s skyline in incredible detail. NASA astronaut Jessica Meir photographed the city from the orbiting laboratory, which circles the Earth at an altitude of about 250 miles (400 kilometers). “Clear views of bustling #NYC day and night lately from @Space_Station,” Meir tweeted on Wednesday (March 4). “Central Park looks inviting. Midtown’s skyline reminds me of a metallic pin art impression.” — Hanneke Weitering

A portrait of Saturn’s moon Enceladus

(Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Wednesday, March 4, 2020: A new global view of Saturn’s icy moon Enceladus shows the tiny satellite’s “tiger stripe” fissures and frosty plumes in stunning detail. This artist’s illustration of Enceladus was created from a global map that scientists working on NASA’s Cassini mission stitched together from images that the spacecraft collected during its first 10 years of exploring the Saturn system. — Hanneke Weitering

Merging storms spotted on Jupiter

(Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/Tanya Oleksuik)

Tuesday, March 3, 2020: Two white, oval-shaped storms in Jupiter’s atmosphere have been spotted merging into one. NASA’s Juno spacecraft caught these anticyclonic storms in the act using its JunoCam imager on Dec. 26, 2019, as the spacecraft was completing its 24th perijove, or close flyby of the planet. At the time, Juno was passing about 44,900 miles (72,200 kilometers) above Jupiter’s cloud tops at a latitude of about 60 degrees south.

NASA has been tracking the larger of the two merging storms for years, and scientists have watched it gobble up several smaller storms in the past, NASA said in a statement. It narrowly avoided a merger with this same storm just a few months before this image was captured, when the two made a close approach as they churned through the planet’s turbulent atmosphere. — Hanneke Weitering

Hubble spots a galactic “traffic jam”

A new image from the Hubble Space Telescope features the barred spiral galaxy NGC 3887, with its long, winding arms and bright galactic core. The German-English astronomer William Herschel discovered this galaxy, which is located 60 million light-years away from Earth, about 234 years ago.

(Image credit: ESA/NASA/Hubble/P. Erwin et al.)

Monday, March 2, 2020: A new image from the Hubble Space Telescope features the barred spiral galaxy NGC 3887, with its long, winding arms and bright galactic core. The German-English astronomer William Herschel discovered this galaxy, which is located 60 million light-years away from Earth, about 234 years ago. At the time, astronomers didn’t understand how such spiral arms could even exist, because they thought a galaxy’s spinning core would eventually wind them up so tightly that the spirals would disappear. It wasn’t until the 1960s that astronomers came up with an explanation.

“Rather than behaving like rigid structures, spiral arms are in fact areas of greater density in a galaxy’s disc, with dynamics similar to those of a traffic jam,” Hubble officials said in a statement. “The density of cars moving through a traffic jam increases at the center of the jam, where they move more slowly. Spiral arms function in a similar way; as gas and dust move through the density waves, they become compressed and linger, before moving out of them again.” — Hanneke Weitering

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