Known as SNR 0509-67.5, the supernova remnant sits about 160,000 light-years from Earth in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of our own Milky Way galaxy. Chandra's x-ray vision shows the soft greens and blues from hot material, while Hubble's visual-light data reveals the visible, glowing pink shell of gas being superheated by an expanding shock wave.
Image courtesy ESA/NASA
Epic Sun Belch
On December 6 a long streamer of plasma (charged gas) that had been winding almost halfway around the sun suddenly erupted, releasing a torrent of solar material. Several satellites caught the action, including one of NASA's STEREO spacecraft, which took this picture, released Saturday.
IC 443 is notable for having two distinct halves: a northern shell of sheet-like filaments (pink) and a southern shell of denser clumps and knots (blue). The top half is emitting light from iron, neon, silicon, and oxygen gases. The bottom is primarily emitting light from hydrogen gas.
Studying the odd structure can give scientists insight into how stellar explosions interact with their environments. The scientists think, for example, that the two halves are the result of shock waves that hit the interstellar medium—thin gases that float in the voids between stars—at different speeds.
Image courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech/WISE
Photographed by astronauts aboard the International Space Station, the bright lights of Las Vegas and the surrounding metropolitan area create a blotch of color in the otherwise inky blackness of Nevada's Mojave Desert. The shot was taken November 30 and released on Monday.
The Las Vegas Strip (center) is reputed to be the brightest nighttime spot on Earth, due to the concentration of light from hotels and casinos, according to NASA.
Photograph courtesy NASA
Taken at an angle, a picture released December 10 shows the soft ripples and sharp edges of a small crater within the Schiaparelli impact basin, as seen by the European Space Agency's Mars Express orbiter.
The inside of the smaller crater is filled with sediments that appear to form a terrace in the north and a delta-like structure near the center. Overall, the region shows how winds and water have sculpted the Martian landscape over time, according to ESA.
Image courtesy ESA/DLR/FU Berlin
Those aren't just clouds: Heavy snow blankets the upper U.S. Midwest in a NASA satellite picture taken shortly after a blizzard dumped more than 17 inches (43 centimeters) of the white stuff on the Minneapolis-St. Paul region of Minnesota.