The following images are provided by Nasa and are refreshed on a daily basis.
The Moon, left, Saturn, upper right, and Jupiter, lower right, are seen after sunset from Washington, DC, Thurs. Dec. 17, 2020. The two planets drew closer to each other in the sky as they headed towards a “great conjunction” on Dec. 21, where the two giant planets appeared a tenth of a degree apart.
If spacecraft are to visit the outer solar system, they must cross the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. The Pioneer mission was faced with the question of just how dangerous this asteroid belt would be to a spacecraft passing through it.
A cluster brimming with millions of stars glistens like an iridescent opal in this image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. Called Omega Centauri, the sparkling orb of stars is like a miniature galaxy. It is the biggest and brightest of the 150 or so similar objects, called globular clusters, that orbit around the outside of our Milky Way galaxy. Stargazers at southern latitudes can spot the stellar gem with the naked eye in the constellation Centaurus. Globular clusters are some of the oldest objects in our universe. Their stars are over 12 billion years old, and, in most cases, formed all at once when the universe was just a toddler. Omega Centauri is unusual in that its stars are of different ages and possess varying levels of metals, or elements heavier than boron. Astronomers say this points to a different origin for Omega Centauri than other globular clusters: they think it might be the core of a dwarf galaxy that was ripped apart and absorbed by our Milky Way long ago. In this new view of Omega Centauri, Spitzer's infrared observations have been combined with visible-light data from the National Science Foundation's Blanco 4-meter telescope at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile. Visible-light data with a wavelength of .55 microns is colored blue, 3.6-micron infrared light captured by Spitzer's infrared array camera is colored green and 24-micron infrared light taken by Spitzer's multiband imaging photometer is colored red. Where green and red overlap, the color yellow appears. Thus, the yellow and red dots are stars revealed by Spitzer. These stars, called red giants, are more evolved, larger and dustier. The stars that appear blue were spotted in both visible and 3.6-micron-, or near-, infrared light. They are less evolved, like our own sun. Some of the red spots in the picture are distant galaxies beyond our own.
The sun's first rays begin illuminating Earth's atmosphere in this photograph from the International Space Station as it orbited 260 miles above the central United States. At far left, the city lights of Chicago, Illinois, are outlined by Lake Michigan. At far right, the city lights of the Dallas/Fort Worth metropolitan area shine through the clouds.
A model of the Mariner-C spacecraft at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Lewis Research Center for a June 1964 Conference on New Technology. Mariner-C and Mariner-D were identical spacecraft designed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to flyby Mars and photograph the Martian surface. Mariner-C was launched on November 4, 1964, but the payload shroud did not jettison properly and the spacecraft’s battery power did not function. The mission ended unsuccessfully two days later. Mariner-D was launched as designed on November 28, 1964 and became the first successful mission to Mars. It was the first time a planet was photographed from space. Mariner-D’s 21 photographs revealed an inhospitable and barren landscape. The two Mariner spacecraft were launched by Atlas-Agena-D rockets. Lewis had taken over management of the Agena Program in October 1962. There had been five failures and two partial failures in the 17 Agena launches before being taken over by NASA Lewis. Lewis, however, oversaw 28 successful Agena missions between 1962 and 1968, including several Rangers and the Mariner Venus '67.
The NIRCam (Near-Infrared Camera) instrument on NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope’s reveals a portion of the Milky Way’s dense core in a new light. An estimated 500,000 stars shine in this image of the Sagittarius C (Sgr C) region, along with some as-yet unidentified features. A large region of ionized hydrogen, shown in cyan, contains intriguing needle-like structures that lack any uniform orientation.
Astronaut Alan B. Shepard Jr., attired in his Mercury pressure suit, poses for a photo on May 5, 1961, prior to his launch in a Mercury-Redstone 3 spacecraft from Cape Canaveral on a suborbital mission – the first U.S. manned spaceflight.
A 35mm camera, operated by astronaut William R. Pogue, Skylab 4 pilot, recorded this wide scene of his Skylab 4 crewmates on the other end of the orbital workshop. Astronauts Jerry P. Carr (right), commander, and Edward G. Gibson, science pilot, pose for the snapshot. Also in the frame are parts of three Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) spacesuits, used on several EVA sessions during the third manning of the Skylab space station.
NASA's Wallops Flight Facility C-130 aircraft delivered the agency’s Galactic/Extragalactic ULDB Spectroscopic Terahertz Observatory (GUSTO) payload to McMurdo Station, Antarctica, on Oct. 28, 2023. The GUSTO mission will launch on a scientific balloon in December 2023.