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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

This is the first map of radioactivity in a supernova remnant, the blown-out bits and pieces of a massive star that exploded. The blue color shows radioactive material mapped in high-energy X-rays using NASA's NuSTAR.
This is the first map of radioactivity in a supernova remnant, the blown-out bits and pieces of a massive star that exploded. The blue color shows radioactive material mapped in high-energy X-rays using NASA's NuSTAR.

Untangling the Remains of Cassiopeia A

The spinning vortex of Saturn's north polar storm resembles a deep red rose of giant proportions surrounded by green foliage in this false-color image from NASA's Cassini spacecraft.
The spinning vortex of Saturn's north polar storm resembles a deep red rose of giant proportions surrounded by green foliage in this false-color image from NASA's Cassini spacecraft.

The Rose

A quartet of Saturn's moons, from tiny to huge, surround and are embedded within the planet's rings in this Cassini composition. Saturn's largest moon, Titan, in the background, and the moon's north polar hood is clearly visible.
A quartet of Saturn's moons, from tiny to huge, surround and are embedded within the planet's rings in this Cassini composition. Saturn's largest moon, Titan, in the background, and the moon's north polar hood is clearly visible.

In, Around, Beyond Rings

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 composite is a mosaic comprising four individual Rosetta NAVCAM images taken from 19 miles from the center of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
This composite is a mosaic comprising four individual Rosetta NAVCAM images taken from 19 miles from the center of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

Rosetta Comet

Like a giant eye for the giant planet, Saturn's great vortex at its north pole appears to stare back at Cassini as NASA's Cassini spacecraft stares at it.
Like a giant eye for the giant planet, Saturn's great vortex at its north pole appears to stare back at Cassini as NASA's Cassini spacecraft stares at it.

The Eye of Saturn

This color-coded map from NASA's Dawn mission shows the highs and lows of topography on the surface of dwarf planet Ceres. It is labeled with names of features approved by the International Astronomical Union.
This color-coded map from NASA's Dawn mission shows the highs and lows of topography on the surface of dwarf planet Ceres. It is labeled with names of features approved by the International Astronomical Union.

Topographic Ceres Map with Feature Names II

This impact crater, as seen by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, appears relatively recent as it has a sharp rim and well-preserved ejecta.
This impact crater, as seen by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, appears relatively recent as it has a sharp rim and well-preserved ejecta.

A Fresh Crater near Sirenum Fossae

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope exposes the depths of this dusty nebula with its infrared vision, showing stellar infants that are lost behind dark clouds when viewed in visible light.
NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope exposes the depths of this dusty nebula with its infrared vision, showing stellar infants that are lost behind dark clouds when viewed in visible light.

Making a Spectacle of Star Formation in Orion

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

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'

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

The globe of Saturn, seen here in natural color, is reminiscent of a holiday ornament in this wide-angle view from NASA's Cassini spacecraft.
The globe of Saturn, seen here in natural color, is reminiscent of a holiday ornament in this wide-angle view from NASA's Cassini spacecraft.

Painted Lines on an Ornament

This full-resolution image shows part of the deck of NASA's Curiosity rover taken from one of the rover's Navigation cameras looking toward the back left of the rover. On the left, part of the rover's power supply is visible.
This full-resolution image shows part of the deck of NASA's Curiosity rover taken from one of the rover's Navigation cameras looking toward the back left of the rover. On the left, part of the rover's power supply is visible.

A Clear Look at the Rover Deck

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

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 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

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

Saturn's many cloud patterns, swept along by high-speed winds, look as if they were painted on by some eager alien artist in this image from NASA's Cassini spacecraft.
Saturn's many cloud patterns, swept along by high-speed winds, look as if they were painted on by some eager alien artist in this image from NASA's Cassini spacecraft.

Painted Saturn

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

This is an image of the planet Uranus taken by the spacecraft Voyager 2 in 1986.
This is an image of the planet Uranus taken by the spacecraft Voyager 2 in 1986.

Uranus as seen by NASA's Voyager 2

Possible variations in chemical composition from one part of Saturn's ring system to another are visible from Voyager 2.
Possible variations in chemical composition from one part of Saturn's ring system to another are visible from Voyager 2.

Composition Differences within Saturn's Rings

Charon's color palette is not as diverse as Pluto's; most striking is the reddish north (top) polar region, informally named Mordor Macula, as seen by NASA's New Horizons.
Charon's color palette is not as diverse as Pluto's; most striking is the reddish north (top) polar region, informally named Mordor Macula, as seen by NASA's New Horizons.

Charon in Enhanced Color

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