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This artist's concept shows a supermassive black hole at the center of a remote galaxy digesting the remnants of a star.
This artist's concept shows a supermassive black hole at the center of a remote galaxy digesting the remnants of a star.

Black Hole Grabs Starry Snack (Artist Concept)

These images, taken with NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer and the Pan-STARRS1 telescope in Hawaii, show a brightening inside a galaxy caused by a flare from its nucleus. The arrow in each image points to the galaxy.
These images, taken with NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer and the Pan-STARRS1 telescope in Hawaii, show a brightening inside a galaxy caused by a flare from its nucleus. The arrow in each image points to the galaxy.

Black Hole Swallows a Star

A star's spectacular death in the constellation Taurus was observed on Earth as the supernova of 1054 A.D. This composite image uses data from three of NASA's Great Observatories. The Chandra X-ray, Hubble Space, and Spitzer Space Telescope.
A star's spectacular death in the constellation Taurus was observed on Earth as the supernova of 1054 A.D. This composite image uses data from three of NASA's Great Observatories. The Chandra X-ray, Hubble Space, and Spitzer Space Telescope.

Dead Star Creates Celestial Havoc

This artist's conception compares the KOI-961 planetary system to Jupiter and the largest four of its many moons. The KOI-961 planetary system hosts the three smallest planets known to orbit a star beyond our sun.
This artist's conception compares the KOI-961 planetary system to Jupiter and the largest four of its many moons. The KOI-961 planetary system hosts the three smallest planets known to orbit a star beyond our sun.

'Honey I Shrunk the Planetary System' (Artist Concept)

Tones represents sound waves that traveled through the early universe, and were later 'heard' by ESA's Planck space telescope. The primordial sound waves have been translated into frequencies we can hear.
Tones represents sound waves that traveled through the early universe, and were later 'heard' by ESA's Planck space telescope. The primordial sound waves have been translated into frequencies we can hear.

Sounds of the Ancient Universe

ESA's Planck has imaged the most distant light we can observe, called the cosmic microwave background, with unprecedented precision.
ESA's Planck has imaged the most distant light we can observe, called the cosmic microwave background, with unprecedented precision.

Through the Universe's Looking Glass

This all-sky image shows the spatial distribution over the whole sky of the galactic haze at 30 and 44 GHz, extracted from the Planck observations.
This all-sky image shows the spatial distribution over the whole sky of the galactic haze at 30 and 44 GHz, extracted from the Planck observations.

The Mysterious Galactic Haze seen by Planck

The galaxies pictured here have so much dust surrounding them that the brilliant light from their quasars cannot be seen in these images from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.
The galaxies pictured here have so much dust surrounding them that the brilliant light from their quasars cannot be seen in these images from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.

The Homes of Quasars

An amazing 'edge-on' view of a spiral galaxy 55 million light years from Earth has been captured by the Hubble Space Telescope. The image reveals in great detail huge clouds of dust and gas extending along and above the galaxy's main disk.
An amazing 'edge-on' view of a spiral galaxy 55 million light years from Earth has been captured by the Hubble Space Telescope. The image reveals in great detail huge clouds of dust and gas extending along and above the galaxy's main disk.

Galaxy NGC 4013

A plot of the transmission spectrum for exoplanet HAT-P-11b, with data from NASA's Kepler, Hubble and Spitzer observatories combined. The results show a robust detection of water absorption in the Hubble data.
A plot of the transmission spectrum for exoplanet HAT-P-11b, with data from NASA's Kepler, Hubble and Spitzer observatories combined. The results show a robust detection of water absorption in the Hubble data.

Transmission Spectrum of HAT-P-11b

This image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows the nasty effects of living near a group of massive stars: radiation and winds from the massive stars (white spot in center) are blasting planet-making material away from stars like our sun.
This image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows the nasty effects of living near a group of massive stars: radiation and winds from the massive stars (white spot in center) are blasting planet-making material away from stars like our sun.

Devastated Stellar Neighborhood

This composite image shows the Coronet in X-rays from Chandra and infrared from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope (orange, green, and cyan). The Spitzer data show young stars plus diffuse emission from dust.
This composite image shows the Coronet in X-rays from Chandra and infrared from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope (orange, green, and cyan). The Spitzer data show young stars plus diffuse emission from dust.

Coronet: A Star-Formation Neighbor

Two large elliptical galaxies, NGC 4889 and NGC 4874 are shown in this image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.
Two large elliptical galaxies, NGC 4889 and NGC 4874 are shown in this image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

Dwarfs in Coma Cluster

This image shows the first-ever map of the surface of an exoplanet, or a planet beyond our solar system. Showing temperature variations across the cloudy tops of a gas giant called HD 189733b, the infrared data is taken by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.
This image shows the first-ever map of the surface of an exoplanet, or a planet beyond our solar system. Showing temperature variations across the cloudy tops of a gas giant called HD 189733b, the infrared data is taken by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

First Map of Alien World (animation)

This artist's concept illustrates how planetary systems arise out of massive collisions between rocky bodies. NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope show that these catastrophes continue to occur around stars even after they have developed full-sized planets.
This artist's concept illustrates how planetary systems arise out of massive collisions between rocky bodies. NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope show that these catastrophes continue to occur around stars even after they have developed full-sized planets.

The Rocky World of Young Planetary Systems (Artist Concept)

In the image from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, angelic figures take on the form of the galactic group called Stephan's Quintet.
In the image from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, angelic figures take on the form of the galactic group called Stephan's Quintet.

Stephan's Quintet

This series of images from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows a dark mass of gas and dust, called a core, where new stars and planets will likely spring up. This particular core lies deep within a larger dark cloud called L183.
This series of images from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows a dark mass of gas and dust, called a core, where new stars and planets will likely spring up. This particular core lies deep within a larger dark cloud called L183.

An Unexpected Scattering of Light

This graphic illuminates the process by which astronomers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope have, for the first time, detected the light from a super Earth planet.
This graphic illuminates the process by which astronomers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope have, for the first time, detected the light from a super Earth planet.

Measuring Brightness of Super Earth 55 Cancri e

ESA's Herschel Space Observatory has discovered a giant, galaxy-packed filament ablaze with billions of new stars. The filament connects two clusters of galaxies that, along with a third cluster, will smash together in several billion years.
ESA's Herschel Space Observatory has discovered a giant, galaxy-packed filament ablaze with billions of new stars. The filament connects two clusters of galaxies that, along with a third cluster, will smash together in several billion years.

A Star-Bursting Filament

This diagram illustrates why NASA's NuSTAR can see radioactivity in the remains of exploded stars for the first time. The observatory detects high-energy X-ray photons that are released by a radioactive substance called titanium-44.
This diagram illustrates why NASA's NuSTAR can see radioactivity in the remains of exploded stars for the first time. The observatory detects high-energy X-ray photons that are released by a radioactive substance called titanium-44.

The Creation of Titanium in Stars

A hypothetical planet is depicted in this artist's concept moving through the habitable zone and then further out into a long, cold winter.
A hypothetical planet is depicted in this artist's concept moving through the habitable zone and then further out into a long, cold winter.

Eccentric Habitable Zones (Artist's Concept)

This image zooms in on the region around the first 'hot DOG' (red object in magenta circle), discovered by NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE. Hot DOGs are hot dust-obscured galaxies.
This image zooms in on the region around the first 'hot DOG' (red object in magenta circle), discovered by NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE. Hot DOGs are hot dust-obscured galaxies.

Extremely Bright and Extremely Rare

Astronomers have found unexpected rings and arcs of ultraviolet light around a selection of galaxies, four of which are shown here as viewed by NASA's and the European Space Agency's Hubble Space Telescope.
Astronomers have found unexpected rings and arcs of ultraviolet light around a selection of galaxies, four of which are shown here as viewed by NASA's and the European Space Agency's Hubble Space Telescope.

Ultraviolet Ring Around the Galaxies

This image of the microwave sky was synthesized using data spanning the range of light frequencies detected by ESA's Planck. A vast portion of the sky is dominated by the diffuse emission from gas and dust in our Milky Way galaxy.
This image of the microwave sky was synthesized using data spanning the range of light frequencies detected by ESA's Planck. A vast portion of the sky is dominated by the diffuse emission from gas and dust in our Milky Way galaxy.

Planck's View of the Whole Sky

This graph illustrates the Cepheid period-luminosity relationship, used to calculate the size, age and expansion rate of the universe. The data shown are from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope which has made the most precise measurements yet.
This graph illustrates the Cepheid period-luminosity relationship, used to calculate the size, age and expansion rate of the universe. The data shown are from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope which has made the most precise measurements yet.

Cepheids as Cosmology Tools

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