In a blending of old and new, images from a camera recently removed from the Hubble Space Telescope were combined with pictures from its replacement camera to create this composite view of the spiral galaxy NGC 3982, released Tuesday.
The pictures, taken between March 2000 and August 2009, come together to reveal colorful details in the star-forming galaxy, which lies 68 million light-years away. The galaxy's dusty arms are lined with young star clusters (blue) and glowing hydrogen clouds (pink) where new stars are being born.
The dark disk of the moon partially eclipses the sun in a new picture, released October 7 by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. The orbiting telescope captured the lunar transit as the craft was taking pictures of the star in extreme ultraviolet light.
The moon appears large enough to envelop the sun because—as with solar eclipses seen from Earth's surface—the moon is much closer to the observer, in this case, the Earth-orbiting observatory.
Image courtesy NASA
At NASA's Kennedy Space Center on October 15, the payload bay of the space shuttle Discovery is opened wide so the shuttle's crew members can take a look at their cargo.
The tiny, three-mile-wide (four-kilometer-wide) moon Pallene hangs in front of mighty Saturn in a raw picture from NASA's Cassini orbiter taken October 16.
The picture is among dozens Cassini collected during a "weekend road trip" around Saturn's moons. In total, the craft swung past nine moons in 62 hours, snapping high-resolution images along the way.
Image courtesy NASA
Emerging from the darkness like a deep-sea jellyfish (pictures), the planetary nebula NGC 6210 shows off its oddball structure in a new picture from the Hubble Space Telescope. The nebula sits about 6,500 light-years away from Earth in the constellation Hercules.
Planetary nebulae actually have little to do with planets. Instead, the clouds of dust and gas are leftovers from the quiet deaths of sunlike stars. These medium-size stars shed their outer layers as they perish, leaving behind dense cores called white dwarfs, which are surrounded by nebulae of different shapes and sizes.
The new picture of NGC 6210, released October 18, shows the nebula's inner region and central white dwarf in unprecedented detail, according to NASA.
Image courtesy ESA/NASA
Fun House Mirror
The mirror coating and support teams for Gemini South in Chile stand reflected in the telescope's newly recoated primary mirror on October 8.
The mirror's new coating was part of planned maintenance performed at the Gemini facility during a recent 28-day shutdown. The huge mirror had to be washed and stripped of its old silver coating before the new protective layer could be applied.