This stunning false-color infrared image shows in stark detail the fiery blast of the Antares rocket carrying the commercial Cygnus cargo ship on its maiden flight from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia on September 18.
Orbital Sciences Corporation of Dulles, Virginia, is demonstrating for the first time the flight capabilities of its new unmanned resupply spaceship, which is scheduled to dock with the International Space Station on September 22.
The spacecraft will deliver about 1,300 pounds (589 kilograms) of cargo, including food and clothing, to the Expedition 37 crew.
Photograph courtesy Bill Ingalls, NASA
Cooking in the Prawn Nebula
Definitely not shrimp-size at 50 light-years wide, the Prawn nebula poses in its sharpest portrait ever, courtesy of the Paranal Observatory in Chile.
Clumps of newborn stars are nestled inside this giant gas cloud located some 6,000 light-years from Earth in the constellation Scorpius.
Photograph courtesy Martin Pugh and ESO
Blush of Spring
The southern parts of the Australian continent begin to green as springtime approaches, seen here in this natural-color image acquired by NASA's Aqua satellite on September 13.
New South Wales and South Australia saw abundant winter rains, which have sparked dramatic plant growth in just the first two weeks of September.
Photograph courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS/NASA
In this high-resolution image snapped by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on August 23, mysterious lobes of pure water ice dubbed "brain terrain" appear at the base of a frozen hill on the red planet.
Recent studies suggest that large glacial deposits in the Martian northern hemisphere, where these bizarre swirly ice features are located, may have undergone multiple thermal expansions and contractions since their formation over 100 million years ago.
Photograph courtesy U. Arizona/NASA
Like a cosmic flower blooming amongst the stars, the colorful and famous Trifid nebula is captured in this image taken through a backyard telescope in Huntsville, Alabama, on September 19.
A star-forming region in the plane of our Milky Way galaxy that sculpted itself into pillars and jets of gas and dust, the Trifid cloud spans some 40 light-years across and sits about 5,000 light-years away in the constellation Sagittarius.