Epic Space Photos of the Week (Aug 26-30)
On Aug. 28, a United Launch Alliance Delta 4 Heavy rocket lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., carrying the NROL-65 spy satellite into space. The Delta 4 Heavy is currently America's most powerful rocket system.
On Aug. 17, NASA's Mars rover Curiosity moonlighted as an astronomer. Looking up, the robot snapped these photos 3 seconds apart of Mars moon Phobos eclipse the sun -- these are the sharpest Mars eclipse images ever taken.
The ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) captured this beautiful photo of the emission nebula, NGC 6357, located 8,000 light-years away.
NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)
This knot of gas and dust captured by Hubble is a protostar known as IRAS 20324+4057. The light-year-long cloud is being buffeted and shaped by the massive O-type stars' stellar winds surrounding it in what astronomers call the Cygnus OB2 association.
X-ray: NASA/UMass/D.Wang et al., IR: NASA/STScI
NASA's Chandra X-Ray Observatory takes a close-up look at the X-ray emissions coming from the black hole in the center of our galaxy. The emission source, called Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*), is surprisingly weak, suggesting that only a tiny fraction of the material surrounding the gravitational behemoth is consumed.
Space station astronauts capture a photograph of California's fifth largest ever wildfire that is currently threatening Yosemite National Park. Although its spread has slowed, the Rim Fire has consumed 192,000 acres of land.
Space station astronauts watch a dust storm blow into the atmosphere over Egypt and the Red Sea.
A space history photo of the liquid hydrogen tank for the Space Shuttle external tank Main Propulsion Test Article in 1977.
A welder at NASA’s Stennis Space Center works on a portion of piping to be installed on the A-1 Test Stand for RS-25 rocket engine testing. NASA is scheduled to begin testing RS-25 engines next spring for use on its new Space Launch System.