A huge loop of plasma erupts from the left side of the sun, as seen from Earth, in a new picture from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory spacecraft taken on Monday. The release of the so-called solar prominence was accompanied by a medium-strength solar flare.
A new image from the Hubble Space Telescope shows the millions of stars in 30 Doradus, a stellar nursery in the heart of the Tarantula Nebula. The crowded breeding ground for stars lies 170,000 light-years away from Earth in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of our Milky Way.
Released to celebrate the telescope's 22nd anniversary, the picture is one of the largest mosaics yet made with Hubble images. Its fine detail allows astronomers to pinpoint individual stars and trace the life cycles of stars, from stellar embryos still swaddled in dark dust to behemoths that will die young in brilliant supernovas.
Image courtesy ESA/NASA
Mounted on a modified 747, the space shuttle Discovery soars over the U.S. Capitol (lower right) and Washington Monument (center) on Tuesday in a picture taken from a NASA T-38 airplane, which was escorting the spacecraft.
A huge cloud of charged gas seems to rise like steam around the loose star cluster known as NGC 2040, as seen in a newly released picture from the Hubble Space Telescope.
NGC 2040 resides inside a supergiant shell of gas that's part of the Large Magellanic Cloud, a dwarf satellite galaxy of the Milky Way. The huge shells are thought to form in regions of star birth, as strong stellar winds from massive stars and clustered supernova explosions blow away the surrounding dust and gas.
Image courtesy D.A. Gouliermis, ESA/NASA
Saturn's largest moon, Titan, looms like a dark shadow behind the bright, icy moon Enceladus in a new picture from NASA's Cassini orbiter. Saturn's thin rings bisect the frame.
Although very different, the two moons fascinate astrobiologists looking for signs of life elsewhere in the solar system.