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This colorful view from NASA's Cassini mission, known as
This colorful view from NASA's Cassini mission, known as

In Full View: Saturn's Streaming Hexagon

The red arc in this infrared image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope is a giant shock wave, created by a speeding star known as Kappa Cassiopeiae.
The red arc in this infrared image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope is a giant shock wave, created by a speeding star known as Kappa Cassiopeiae.

Speedster Star Shocks the Galaxy

NASA's Cassini spacecraft reveals the differences in the composition of surface materials around hydrocarbon lakes at Titan.
NASA's Cassini spacecraft reveals the differences in the composition of surface materials around hydrocarbon lakes at Titan.

Titan's Northern Lakes: Salt Flats?

X-rays stream off the sun in this first picture of the sun, overlaid on a picture taken by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, taken by NuSTAR.
X-rays stream off the sun in this first picture of the sun, overlaid on a picture taken by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, taken by NuSTAR.

Sun Shines in High-Energy X-rays

The 'Dumbbell nebula,' also known as Messier 27, pumps out infrared light in this image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. Planetary nebulae are now known to be the remains of stars that once looked a lot like our sun.
The 'Dumbbell nebula,' also known as Messier 27, pumps out infrared light in this image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. Planetary nebulae are now known to be the remains of stars that once looked a lot like our sun.

Weighing in on the Dumbbell Nebula

This computer-generated view depicts part of Mars at the boundary between darkness and daylight, with an area including Gale Crater beginning to catch morning light. NASA has selected Gale as the landing site for the Mars Science Laboratory mission.
This computer-generated view depicts part of Mars at the boundary between darkness and daylight, with an area including Gale Crater beginning to catch morning light. NASA has selected Gale as the landing site for the Mars Science Laboratory mission.

Daybreak at Gale Crater

This image shows where NASA's Curiosity rover aimed two different instruments to study a rock known as 'Jake Matijevic.' The red dots are where ChemCam zapped the rock with its laser.
This image shows where NASA's Curiosity rover aimed two different instruments to study a rock known as 'Jake Matijevic.' The red dots are where ChemCam zapped the rock with its laser.

Target: Jake Matijevic Rock

This image shows the Large Magellanic Cloud galaxy in infrared light as seen by ESA's Herschel Space Observatory and NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. The brightest center-left region is called 30 Doradus, or the Tarantula Nebula.
This image shows the Large Magellanic Cloud galaxy in infrared light as seen by ESA's Herschel Space Observatory and NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. The brightest center-left region is called 30 Doradus, or the Tarantula Nebula.

Dusty Space Cloud

How many rings do you see in this new image of galaxy Messier 94, also known as NGC 4736? At first glance one might see a number of them, astronomers believe there is just one. This image was captured in infrared light by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.
How many rings do you see in this new image of galaxy Messier 94, also known as NGC 4736? At first glance one might see a number of them, astronomers believe there is just one. This image was captured in infrared light by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

Galactic Wheels within Wheels

This composite of the giant barred spiral galaxy NGC 6872 is 522,000 light-years across, making it about five times the size of the Milky Way.
This composite of the giant barred spiral galaxy NGC 6872 is 522,000 light-years across, making it about five times the size of the Milky Way.

Dwarf Galaxy Spotted

The dark hot spot in this false-color image from NASA's Cassini spacecraft is a window deep into Jupiter's atmosphere. All around it are layers of higher clouds, with colors indicating which layer of the atmosphere the clouds are in.
The dark hot spot in this false-color image from NASA's Cassini spacecraft is a window deep into Jupiter's atmosphere. All around it are layers of higher clouds, with colors indicating which layer of the atmosphere the clouds are in.

Peering Deep into Jupiter's Atmosphere

A composite image from a camera on ESA's Rosetta mission's Philae comet lander shows a solar array, with comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in the background.
A composite image from a camera on ESA's Rosetta mission's Philae comet lander shows a solar array, with comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in the background.

Rosetta Selflessly Offers Beautiful Comet Selfie

This infrared image taken by NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer shows a star-forming cloud teeming with gas, dust and massive newborn stars.
This infrared image taken by NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer shows a star-forming cloud teeming with gas, dust and massive newborn stars.

Stellar Storm of Infrared Light

NASA's Cassini spacecraft has delivered a glorious view of Saturn, taken while the spacecraft was in Saturn's shadow. The cameras were turned toward Saturn and the sun so that the planet and rings are backlit.
NASA's Cassini spacecraft has delivered a glorious view of Saturn, taken while the spacecraft was in Saturn's shadow. The cameras were turned toward Saturn and the sun so that the planet and rings are backlit.

A Splendor Seldom Seen

This new view of spiral galaxy IC 342, also known as Caldwell 5, includes data from NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR. IC 342 lies 7 million light-years away in the Camelopardalis constellation.
This new view of spiral galaxy IC 342, also known as Caldwell 5, includes data from NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR. IC 342 lies 7 million light-years away in the Camelopardalis constellation.

Blazing Black Holes Spotted in Spiral Beauty

A dying star, called the Helix nebula, is shown surrounded by the tracks of asteroids in an image captured by NASA's WISE. Skirting around the edges of the Helix nebula are the footprints of asteroids marching across the field of view.
A dying star, called the Helix nebula, is shown surrounded by the tracks of asteroids in an image captured by NASA's WISE. Skirting around the edges of the Helix nebula are the footprints of asteroids marching across the field of view.

March of Asteroids Across Dying Star

This vista from NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity shows 'Wdowiak Ridge,' from left foreground to center, as part of a northward look with the rover's tracks visible at right.
This vista from NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity shows 'Wdowiak Ridge,' from left foreground to center, as part of a northward look with the rover's tracks visible at right.

Opportunity's Northward View of 'Wdowiak Ridge'

NASA's NuSTAR's serendipitous discovery in this field lies to the left of a galaxy, called IC751, at which the telescope originally intended to look.
NASA's NuSTAR's serendipitous discovery in this field lies to the left of a galaxy, called IC751, at which the telescope originally intended to look.

Black Holes Shine for NuSTAR

A huge storm churning through the atmosphere in Saturn's northern hemisphere overtakes itself as it encircles the planet in this true-color view from NASA's Cassini spacecraft.
A huge storm churning through the atmosphere in Saturn's northern hemisphere overtakes itself as it encircles the planet in this true-color view from NASA's Cassini spacecraft.

Catching its Tail

The view was obtained during NASA's Cassini orbiter's flyby on July 24, 2012, also called the 'T85' flyby by the Cassini team. This was the most intense specular reflection that Cassini had seen to date.
The view was obtained during NASA's Cassini orbiter's flyby on July 24, 2012, also called the 'T85' flyby by the Cassini team. This was the most intense specular reflection that Cassini had seen to date.

Sunglint on a Hydrocarbon Lake

This enhanced-color image from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows sand dunes trapped in an impact crater in Noachis Terra, Mars.
This enhanced-color image from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows sand dunes trapped in an impact crater in Noachis Terra, Mars.

Dunes in Noachis Terra Region of Mars

Our sky is filled with a diffuse background glow, known as the cosmic infrared background. Much of the light is from galaxies we know about, but previous Spitzer measurements have shown an extra component of unknown origin.
Our sky is filled with a diffuse background glow, known as the cosmic infrared background. Much of the light is from galaxies we know about, but previous Spitzer measurements have shown an extra component of unknown origin.

First Stars or Stray Stars? A Cosmic Infrared Mystery

This before-and-after pair of images of the same patch of ground in front of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity 13 days apart documents the arrival of a bright rock onto the scene.
This before-and-after pair of images of the same patch of ground in front of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity 13 days apart documents the arrival of a bright rock onto the scene.

Rock That Appeared in Front of Opportunity on 'Murray Ridge'

Prior to launch, the team laid out the parachute and hang lines in front of SPIDER, seen in the distance. The long-duration balloon that would carry SPIDER into the sky is attached to the end of the parachute shown here in the foreground.
Prior to launch, the team laid out the parachute and hang lines in front of SPIDER, seen in the distance. The long-duration balloon that would carry SPIDER into the sky is attached to the end of the parachute shown here in the foreground.

SPIDER Readied for Launch

On July 19, 2013, Cassini slipped into Saturn's shadow and turned to image the planet, seven of its moons, its inner rings and Earth.
On July 19, 2013, Cassini slipped into Saturn's shadow and turned to image the planet, seven of its moons, its inner rings and Earth.

The Day the Earth Smiled

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