Astronomy Pictures

Jason-3 Satellite Prepared For Launch

NASA: Image of the Day -

In the SpaceX Payload Processing Facility at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, the Jason-3 satellite is prepared for encapsulation in its payload faring. Liftoff of Jason-3 atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is targeted for the opening of a 30-second launch window at 10:42:18 a.m. PST (1:42 EST) on Sunday, Jan. 17.

New Seafloor Map Helps Scientists Find New Features

NASA: Image of the Day -

An international scientific team recently published a new map of the ocean floor based on Earth’s gravity field, and it is a particularly useful tool. The maps were created through computer analysis and modeling of new satellite data from ESA’s CryoSat-2 and from the NASA-CNES Jason-1, as well as older data from missions flown in the 1980s and 90s.

Tim Peake Prepares For Friday's Spacewalk

NASA: Image of the Day -

European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Tim Peake (@astro_timpeake) shared this photo taken aboard the International Space Station on Jan. 11, 2015, during preparations for a spacewalk, or extra-vehicular activity (EVA). Peake wrote, "Final suit fit check prior to Friday's EVA – feels just great! #Principia #spacewalk"

Starburst Spider

NASA: Image of the Day -

Mars' seasonal cap of carbon dioxide ice has eroded many beautiful terrains as it sublimates (goes directly from ice to vapor) every spring. In the region where the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter took this image on Feb. 4, 2009, we see troughs that form a starburst pattern.

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