With its high-powered lenses, the Hubble Space Telescope captured this image of the spiral galaxy Messier 77, a large group of stars 45 million light-years from Earth. The colors of the spiral in this image released March 28 reveal that new stars were formed in the red and blue areas. The overall glow indicates that the entire system is rich with ionized gas.
As it passed over the Indian Ocean on March 11, NASA's Aqua satellite snapped this photo of clouds moving from northwest to southeast. The Aqua satellite was launched in 2002 as part of an ambitious effort to study Earth's water cycle. As it circles the planet, the satellite observes oceans, cloud layers, and ice, as well as soil moisture and atmospheric vapor.
Released March 18, this closeup photo taken by the Mars rover Curiosity shows a small, fragmented rock named Tintina. Scientists have not been able to fully identify the bright white material on the rock's surface.
Image courtesy MSSS/Caltech/NASA
NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured this image on March 16 as a solar prominence broke apart several thousand miles above the surface of the sun. The image, captured in ultraviolet light, shows a cloud of particles that hovered near the eruption before fading away into space.
Guided by the sun's magnetic field lines, solar prominences can hover over the surface of the sun for days or weeks before erupting. The eruptions can take minutes to hours.
Image courtesy SDO/NASA
As spring and summer bring heat to the Greenland ice sheet, blue pools of meltwater form that eventually carve paths to the ocean. This photo, released March 21, was taken by NASA's Earth Observing-1 satellite, which was designed to capture detailed geographic images.