Space NASA Image of the Day

120th Anniversary of the First Powered, Controlled Flight


Orville Wright makes the first powered, controlled flight on Earth as his brother Wilbur looks on in this image taken at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, on Dec. 17, 1903. Orville Wright covered 120 feet in 12 seconds during the first flight. The Wright brothers made four flights that day, each longer than the last. (More at NASA Picture of The Day)
Ice Flows on Mars


The surface of Mars is littered with examples of glacier-like landforms. While surface ice deposits are mostly limited to the polar caps, patterns of slow, viscous flow abound in many non-polar regions of Mars. Streamlines that appear as linear ridges in the surface soils and rocky debris are often exposed on top of infilling deposits that coat crater and valley floors. We see such patterns on the surfaces of Earth's icy glaciers and debris-covered "rock glaciers." As ice flows downhill, rock and soil are plucked from the surrounding landscape and ferried along the flowing ice surface and within the icy subsurface. While this process is gradual, taking perhaps thousands of years or longer, it creates a network of linear patterns that reveal the history of ice flow. (More at NASA Picture of The Day)
NGC 2264: Telescopes Illuminate 'Christmas Tree Cluster'


This composite image shows the Christmas Tree Cluster. The blue and white lights (which blink in the animated version of this image) are young stars that give off X-rays detected by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory. Optical data from the National Science Foundation’s WIYN 0.9-meter telescope on Kitt Peak shows gas in the nebula in green, corresponding to the “pine needles” of the tree, and infrared data from the Two Micron All Sky Survey shows foreground and background stars in white. This image has been rotated clockwise by about 160 degrees from the astronomer’s standard of North pointing upward, so that it appears like the top of the tree is toward the top of the image. (More at NASA Picture of The Day)
Making Fire Sense on Monroe Mountain


At the start of October 2023, green conifers and golden aspen covered the slopes of Monroe Mountain in Utah’s Fishlake National Forest. Then, starting on October 9, these forests turned black as fire worked its way across the mountain. Flames and smoke were visible for miles. (More at NASA Picture of The Day)
NASA’s Artemis II Crew Meet with President, VP at White House


Artemis II crew members: CSA (Canadian Space Agency) astronaut Jeremy Hansen, left, NASA astronauts Christina Koch, Victor Glover, and Reid Wiseman, right, pose for a group photograph after their meetings with U.S. President Joe Biden and U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris at the White House in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 14, 2023. During their mission, the Artemis II crew will travel aboard NASA's Orion spacecraft on a 10-day mission around the Moon, testing spacecraft systems for the first time with astronauts for long-term exploration and scientific discovery. (More at NASA Picture of The Day)
On Cupid! On, Donner and BARREL!


Four reindeer walk past the BARREL payload on the launch pad at Esrange Space Center near Kiruna, Sweden. The BARREL team was at Esrange Space Center launching a series of six scientific payloads on miniature scientific balloons. The NASA-funded BARREL – which stands for Balloon Array for Radiation-belt Relativistic Electron Losses – primarily measured X-rays in Earth’s atmosphere near the North and South Poles. (More at NASA Picture of The Day)
Ringing in the Holidays


Seen here by Webb, ice giant Uranus is a dynamic world with rings, moons, storms, extreme seasons, and more. Webb’s sensitivity has even captured the close-in Zeta ring, faint, diffuse, and elusive. These new images reveal detailed features of Uranus’s seasonal north polar cap, as well as bright storms near and below the southern border of the cap. If humans want to send a spacecraft to visit Uranus up close, it’s necessary to understand how to navigate debris from its rings. (More at NASA Picture of The Day)
Research Physical Scientist Tra-My Justine Richardson


"It takes a lot of courage to confront your fears and failures. Each and every time is really difficult, but you will feel really empowered. It’s a very significant step in your life if you can do that.” (More at NASA Picture of The Day)


Creating an artistic reflection, a Great Blue Heron skims its wings on a waterway at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Jan. 11, 2021. The center shares a border with the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. (More at NASA Picture of The Day)
Large Magellanic Fireworks


Resembling sparks from a fireworks display, this image taken by a JPL camera onboard NASA's Hubble Space Telescope shows delicate filaments that are sheets of debris from a stellar explosion in the nearby Large Magellanic Cloud galaxy. (More at NASA Picture of The Day)
NASA’s SpaceX Crew-6 Preflight


Jupiter, top, and Venus, bottom, are seen with the crescent Moon above the Vehicle Assembly Building, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2023, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida as preparations continued for NASA’s SpaceX Crew-6 mission. The agency’s SpaceX Crew-6 mission was the sixth crew rotation mission of the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket to the International Space Station as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program. (More at NASA Picture of The Day)
NASA’s Crew-4 Q&A With Students at Martin Luther King Jr Memorial Library


NASA astronauts Kjell Lindgren, Jessica Watkins, and Robert Hines participate in STEM demonstrations with local students at the Martin Luther King Jr Memorial Library, Thursday, March 30, 2023, in Washington. Lindgren, Hines, and Watkins spent 170 days in space as part of Expeditions 67 and 68 aboard the International Space Station. (More at NASA Picture of The Day)
Amazonian Leaders Visit "Space for Earth"


Amazonian leaders visit "Space for Earth," an immersive audio-visual installation that draws from near real-time satellite data and images, in NASA's Earth Information Center at the NASA Headquarters Mary W. Jackson Building in Washington on Nov. 17, 2023. (More at NASA Picture of The Day)
Preflight Checks for Astronaut Loral O’Hara


Expedition 70 NASA astronaut Loral O'Hara has her Russian Sokol spacesuit pressure checked ahead launching to the International Space Station with fellow crewmates, Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Kononenko and Nikolai Chub, Friday, Sept. 15, 2023 in Baikonur, Kazakhstan. (More at NASA Picture of The Day)
Hubble Views a Vast Galactic Neighborhood


This image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope features a richness of spiral galaxies: the large, prominent spiral galaxy on the right side of the image is NGC 1356; the two apparently smaller spiral galaxies flanking it are LEDA 467699 (above it) and LEDA 95415 (very close at its left) respectively; and finally, IC 1947 sits along the left side of the image. (More at NASA Picture of The Day)
A "Green Monster" Lurks in Star's Debris


For the first time, astronomers have combined data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and James Webb Space Telescope to study the well-known supernova remnant Cassiopeia A (Cas A). This work has helped explain an unusual structure in the debris from the destroyed star called the “Green Monster,” because of its resemblance to the wall in the left field of Fenway Park. (More at NASA Picture of The Day)
Orbital-1 Launch: 10th Anniversary


An Orbital Sciences Corporation Antares rocket is seen as it launches from Pad-0A at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility, Thursday, January 9, 2014, Wallops Island, VA. Antares is carrying the Cygnus spacecraft on a cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station. The Orbital-1 mission is Orbital Sciences' first contracted cargo delivery flight to the space station for NASA. Cygnus is carrying science experiments, crew provisions, spare parts and other hardware to the space station. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls) (More at NASA Picture of The Day)
30 Doradus B: NASA Telescopes Start the Year With a Double Bang


This deep dataset from Chandra of the remains of a supernova known as 30 Doradus B (30 Dor B) reveals evidence for more than one supernova explosion in the history of this remnant. Unusual structures in the Chandra data cannot be explained by a single explosion. These images of 30 Dor B also show optical data from the Blanco telescope in Chile, and infrared data from Spitzer. Additional data from Hubble highlights sharp features in the image. (More at NASA Picture of The Day)
Verdant Farmlands of Simsbury, Connecticut


The Operational Land Imager-2 on Landsat 9 captured this image of Simsbury on September 15, 2022. The tobacco farm where Martin Luther King worked—Meadowood—is located west of the Farmington River, a tributary of the Connecticut River. (More at NASA Picture of The Day)
NASA’s X-59 Quiet Supersonic Research Aircraft Unveiled


NASA and Lockheed Martin publicly unveil the X-59 quiet supersonic research aircraft at a ceremony in Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works facility in Palmdale, California. The X-59 is the centerpiece of NASA’s Quesst mission, which seeks to solve one of the major barriers to supersonic flight over land, currently banned in the United States, by making sonic booms quieter. (More at NASA Picture of The Day)