ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano, who is currently spending six months on the International Space Station, took this stunning photograph from the orbiting outpost's Cupola. With this photo, Luca tweeted: “The sky is simply perfect.”
On June 24, Russian cosmonauts Alexander Misurkin (left) and Fyodor Yurchikhin, both Expedition 36 flight engineers, participated in a six-hour, 34-minute spacewalk on the International Space Station's exterior. They replaced an aging fluid flow control panel on the station's Zarya module as preventative maintenance on the cooling system for the Russian segment of the station.
Space station astronauts also took orbital photographs of the West Fork Complex fire, which was burning in southwestern Colorado near Pagosa Springs on June 19. To the northwest, a smaller plume from the Wild Rose fire is also visible.
Space station astronauts photographed Texas at night, capturing amazing detail in the urban areas in and around the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.
An Orbital Sciences L-1011 carrier aircraft took off from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., on a mission that launched NASA's IRIS spacecraft into low-Earth orbit. IRIS, short for Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph, was launched on June 27, 2013 aboard an Orbital Sciences Pegasus XL rocket released from the L-1011.
The 2013 Supermoon rises behind the Washington Monument, on June 23, 2013. Through a nice cosmic coincidence, a Supermoon occurs when the full moon phase of the Earth's only natural satellite happens at the same time as the moon's closest approach to the Earth (perigee). During this phase, which occurs roughly once a year, the moon may appear brighter and slightly bigger.
Discovery News readers
As the Supermoon is a global event, assuming clear skies, the majority of people on the planet may get a chance to glimpse the cosmic spectacle. Discovery News readers sent us their views, all of which dazzled.
On June 26, the re-entry capsule of China's Shenzhou-10 spacecraft landed in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, ending a successful two week mission to the nation's prototype space station.
X-ray (NASA/CXC/NCSU/K.Borkowski et al.); Optical (DSS)
In 2008, a team of scientists announced they discovered the remains of a supernova that is the most recent, in Earth's time frame, known to have occurred in the Milky Way. NASA's Chandra X-ray space telescope imaged the expanding bubble of gas called G1.9+0.3, providing new details about this rare event.