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This color full-resolution image showing the heat shield of NASA's Curiosity rover was obtained during descent to the surface of Mars. This image shows the inside surface of the heat shield, with its protective multi-layered insulation.
This color full-resolution image showing the heat shield of NASA's Curiosity rover was obtained during descent to the surface of Mars. This image shows the inside surface of the heat shield, with its protective multi-layered insulation.

Curiosity's Heat Shield in Detail

This false-color image of Peru's Ubinas volcano was acquired on April 14, 2014, by NASA's UAVSAR. Located about 100 miles (160 kilometers) from the city of Arequipa, Ubinas is Peru's most active volcano.
This false-color image of Peru's Ubinas volcano was acquired on April 14, 2014, by NASA's UAVSAR. Located about 100 miles (160 kilometers) from the city of Arequipa, Ubinas is Peru's most active volcano.

UAVSAR image of Ubinas Volcano

A new day dawns on Saturn as the part of the planet is seen emerging once more into the Sun's light by NASA's Cassini orbiter. With an estimated rotation period of 10 hours and 40 minutes, Saturn's days and nights are much shorter than those on Earth.
A new day dawns on Saturn as the part of the planet is seen emerging once more into the Sun's light by NASA's Cassini orbiter. With an estimated rotation period of 10 hours and 40 minutes, Saturn's days and nights are much shorter than those on Earth.

Sunrise on Saturn

This image, containing data from NASA's Spitzer and Chandra space telescopes, shows a cluster of young stars expected to burn for billions of years.
This image, containing data from NASA's Spitzer and Chandra space telescopes, shows a cluster of young stars expected to burn for billions of years.

Cosmic Sparklers

This picture from NASA's NuSTAR is one of the most detailed ever taken of the center of our galaxy in high-energy X-rays. The X-ray light, normally invisible to our eyes, has been assigned the color magenta.
This picture from NASA's NuSTAR is one of the most detailed ever taken of the center of our galaxy in high-energy X-rays. The X-ray light, normally invisible to our eyes, has been assigned the color magenta.

Extra X-rays at the Hub of Our Milky Way Galaxy

This image from the Mars Hand Lens Imager on NASA's Mars rover Curiosity shows the patch of rock cleaned by the first use of the rover's Dust Removal Tool (DRT). The tool is a motorized, wire-bristle brush on the turret at the end of the rover's arm.
This image from the Mars Hand Lens Imager on NASA's Mars rover Curiosity shows the patch of rock cleaned by the first use of the rover's Dust Removal Tool (DRT). The tool is a motorized, wire-bristle brush on the turret at the end of the rover's arm.

First Use of Mars Rover Curiosity's Dust Removal Tool

NASA's Cassini spacecraft looks toward the night side of Saturn's largest moon and sees sunlight scattering through the periphery of Titan's atmosphere and forming a ring of color.
NASA's Cassini spacecraft looks toward the night side of Saturn's largest moon and sees sunlight scattering through the periphery of Titan's atmosphere and forming a ring of color.

A Ring of Color

Although solid-looking in many images, NASA's Cassini orbiter shows that Saturn's rings are actually translucent.
Although solid-looking in many images, NASA's Cassini orbiter shows that Saturn's rings are actually translucent.

Translucent Rings

The northern hemisphere is displayed in this global view of the surface of Venus as seen by NASA's Magellan spacecraft.
The northern hemisphere is displayed in this global view of the surface of Venus as seen by NASA's Magellan spacecraft.

Venus - Computer Simulated Global View of the Northern Hemisphere

This still from an animation showcases a series of images NASA's Dawn spacecraft took on approach to Ceres on Feb. 4, 2015 at a distance of about 90,000 miles (145,000 kilometers) from the dwarf planet.
This still from an animation showcases a series of images NASA's Dawn spacecraft took on approach to Ceres on Feb. 4, 2015 at a distance of about 90,000 miles (145,000 kilometers) from the dwarf planet.

Animation of Ceres

Enceladus looks as though it is half lit by sunlight in this view from NASA's Cassini spacecraft. Images like this one are designed to capture the extended plume of icy material spraying from the moon's south polar region.
Enceladus looks as though it is half lit by sunlight in this view from NASA's Cassini spacecraft. Images like this one are designed to capture the extended plume of icy material spraying from the moon's south polar region.

Dark Side of the Moon: Enceladus

In this February 2015 scene from a clean room at Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, specialists are building the heat shield to protect NASA's InSight spacecraft when it is speeding through the Martian atmosphere.
In this February 2015 scene from a clean room at Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, specialists are building the heat shield to protect NASA's InSight spacecraft when it is speeding through the Martian atmosphere.

Heat Shield Construction for NASA's InSight Mission

This image from NASA's Curiosity Mars rover shows Curiosity at the 'Rocknest' site where the rover scooped up samples of windblown dust and sand.
This image from NASA's Curiosity Mars rover shows Curiosity at the 'Rocknest' site where the rover scooped up samples of windblown dust and sand.

Billion-Pixel View From Curiosity at Rock Nest, Raw Color

NASA's Kepler mission compares artist's concepts of the planets in the Kepler-37 system to the moon and planets in the solar system. The smallest planet, Kepler-37b, is slightly larger than our moon.
NASA's Kepler mission compares artist's concepts of the planets in the Kepler-37 system to the moon and planets in the solar system. The smallest planet, Kepler-37b, is slightly larger than our moon.

A Moon-size Line Up (Artist's Concept)

This view of the 'belly' and part of the 'head' of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko indicates several morphologically different regions as seen by ESA's Rosetta spacecraft.
This view of the 'belly' and part of the 'head' of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko indicates several morphologically different regions as seen by ESA's Rosetta spacecraft.

Distinct Terrains on Rosetta's Comet

This view shows the patch of veined, flat-lying rock selected as the first drilling site for NASA's Mars rover Curiosity.
This view shows the patch of veined, flat-lying rock selected as the first drilling site for NASA's Mars rover Curiosity.

'John Klein' Site Selected for Curiosity's Drill Debut

A bubbling cauldron of star birth is highlighted in this image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. Massive stars have blown bubbles, or cavities, in the dust and gas -- a violent process that triggers both the death and birth of stars.
A bubbling cauldron of star birth is highlighted in this image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. Massive stars have blown bubbles, or cavities, in the dust and gas -- a violent process that triggers both the death and birth of stars.

Stars Brewing in Cygnus X

The Boomerang nebula, called the 'coldest place in the universe,' reveals its true shape to the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) telescope. The background blue structure, is seen in visible light by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.
The Boomerang nebula, called the 'coldest place in the universe,' reveals its true shape to the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) telescope. The background blue structure, is seen in visible light by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.

Ghostly 'Boomerang'

This map shows the route driven by NASA's Mars rover Curiosity through the 43rd Martian day, or sol, of the rover's mission on Mars (Sept. 19, 2012). The route starts where the rover touched down, a site subsequently named Bradbury Landing.
This map shows the route driven by NASA's Mars rover Curiosity through the 43rd Martian day, or sol, of the rover's mission on Mars (Sept. 19, 2012). The route starts where the rover touched down, a site subsequently named Bradbury Landing.

Curiosity Traverse Map Through Sol 43

NuSTAR has provided the first observational evidence in support of a theory that says exploding stars slosh around before detonating. That theory, referred to as mild asymmetries, is shown here in a simulation by Christian Ott.
NuSTAR has provided the first observational evidence in support of a theory that says exploding stars slosh around before detonating. That theory, referred to as mild asymmetries, is shown here in a simulation by Christian Ott.

Sloshing Star Goes Supernova

The descent of its comet lander Philae was captured by ESA's Rosetta spacecraft's main camera as the lander approached -- and then rebounded off -- the comet's surface.
The descent of its comet lander Philae was captured by ESA's Rosetta spacecraft's main camera as the lander approached -- and then rebounded off -- the comet's surface.

Rosetta Lander Captured Before/After Bounce

NASA's Dawn spacecraft obtained this image of the giant asteroid Vesta with its framing camera on July 24, 2011. Dawn entered orbit around Vesta on July 15, and will spend a year orbiting the body.
NASA's Dawn spacecraft obtained this image of the giant asteroid Vesta with its framing camera on July 24, 2011. Dawn entered orbit around Vesta on July 15, and will spend a year orbiting the body.

Full-Frame Image of Vesta

Artist's rendering of NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO)-2, one of five new NASA Earth science missions set to launch in 2014, and one of three managed by JPL.
Artist's rendering of NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO)-2, one of five new NASA Earth science missions set to launch in 2014, and one of three managed by JPL.

NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO)-2 (Artist Concept)

NASA's Spitzer and Hubble Space Telescopes have teamed up to expose the chaos that baby stars are creating 1,500 light-years away in a cosmic cloud called the Orion nebula.
NASA's Spitzer and Hubble Space Telescopes have teamed up to expose the chaos that baby stars are creating 1,500 light-years away in a cosmic cloud called the Orion nebula.

Chaos at the Heart of Orion

Vesta is the largest asteroid visited by a spacecraft. It is currently being observed by NASA's Dawn spacecraft, which has entered orbit around Vesta.
Vesta is the largest asteroid visited by a spacecraft. It is currently being observed by NASA's Dawn spacecraft, which has entered orbit around Vesta.

Vesta Sizes Up

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