Our Cassini spacecraft peers toward a sliver of Saturn's sunlit atmosphere while the icy rings stretch across the foreground as a dark band.
June 28 | 2017
This view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings and was taken on March 31, 2017. Cassini, which has explored the ringed planet and its moons since 2004, will make a fateful plunge into Saturn's atmosphere on Sept. 15, ending its long and discovery-rich mission. During its journey, the spacecraft has made numerous discoveries, including a global ocean with hydrothermal activity within the moon Enceladus, and vast seas of liquid methane on Saturn's largest moon, Titan. Cassini began the final, dramatic phase of its mission, called the Grand Finale, on April 26, with the first of the planned 22 dives between Saturn and its rings. The final orbits are bringing the spacecraft closer to Saturn than ever before, providing high-resolution images and new insights into the planet's interior structure and the origins of the rings. During its final plunge into Saturn, Cassini will send data about the atmosphere's composition until its signal is lost. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
This edge-on view of a galaxy located about 45 million light-years away, showcases its beautiful arms, which swirl like a whirlpool around its bright central region.
February 04 | 2018
Astronomers took this image as they were observing an extraordinary exploding star – a supernova – near the galaxy’s central yellow core! The star rapidly evolved from a supernova containing very little hydrogen to one that is hydrogen-rich — in just one year. This rarely observed metamorphosis was luminous at high energies and provides unique insight into the poorly understood final phases of massive stars. By studying similar galaxies we hold a scientific mirror up to our own, allowing us to build a better understanding of our galactic environment, which we cannot always observe, and of galactic behavior and evolution as a whole. Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA/D. Milisavljevic (Perdue University)
Observing images of craters on Mars provides scientists insight into the water that carved them and the Red Planet's history of water activity.
February 07 | 2018
What do you think this tadpole-shaped impact crater says about the water that used to fill it? Based on the terrain-height information and knowing that water always flows downhill, scientists were able to infer that the water in the tadpole crater was flowing down, and outward. The image was taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on our Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona #nasa #space mars