Astronomy Pictures

Smoke Over the Greenland Sea

NASA: Image of the Day -

The 2015 wildfire season in the Arctic has been very intense – and very smoky. As of July 15, over 3,190,000 acres had burned across Canada, according to Natural Resources Canada. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), more than 600 fires had burned millions of acres in Alaska as of July 7.

Frozen Carbon Monoxide in Pluto’s 'Heart'

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Peering closely at the “heart of Pluto,” in the western half of what mission scientists have informally named Tombaugh Regio (Tombaugh Region), New Horizons’ Ralph instrument revealed evidence of carbon monoxide ice. The contours indicate that the concentration of frozen carbon monoxide increases towards the center of the “bull’s eye.”

The North Sea Abloom

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Despite its cold waters and harsh winds, the North Sea is a fertile basin for phytoplankton blooms. The drifting, plantlike organisms tend to be most abundant in late spring and early summer due to high levels of nutrients in the water and increasing sunlight.

Curiosity's Stars and Stripes

NASA: Image of the Day -

This view of the American flag medallion on NASA's Mars rover Curiosity was taken by the rover's Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) during the 44th Martian day, or sol, of Curiosity's work on Mars (Sept. 19, 2012). The flag is one of four "mobility logos" placed on the rover's mobility rocker arms.

Eruption of Wolf Volcano, Galapagos Islands

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In late May 2015, the highest volcano in the Galapagos Islands, Wolf volcano, erupted for the first time in 33 years. The wide image and closeup of Wolf was acquired on June 11, 2015, by the ASTER instrument on NASA's Terra satellite. The false-color images combine near-infrared, red, and green light (ASTER bands 3-2-1).

Watching Meteors From the Space Station

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Astronaut Ron Garan tweeted this image from the International Space Station in August, 2011, writing, “What a `Shooting Star’ looks like from space, taken yesterday during Perseid Meteor Shower.” A special camera to record meteor showers will launch to the station aboard SpaceX's Dragon cargo craft, currently scheduled to launch on June 28, 2015.


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