Astronomy Pictures

Counting Down to Juno's Arrival at Jupiter

NASA: Image of the Day -

A model of the Juno spacecraft is seen at a news briefing on Thursday, June 30, 2016, at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The Juno mission will arrive at Jupiter July 4, 2016, to orbit the planet for 20 months and collect data on the planetary core, map the magnetic field, and measure the amount of water and ammonia in the atmosphere.

Aurora South of Australia

NASA: Image of the Day -

On June 24, 2016, Expedition 48 Commander Jeff Williams of NASA photographed the brilliant lights of an aurora from the International Space Station. Sharing the image on social media, Williams wrote, "We were treated to some spectacular aurora south of Australia today."

Crew Dragon Pressure Vessel Put to the Test

NASA: Image of the Day -

Pressure vessels built by SpaceX to test its Crew Dragon designs are going through structural testing, so engineers can analyze the spacecraft’s ability to withstand the harsh conditions of launch and spaceflight. A pressure vessel is the area of the spacecraft where astronauts will sit during their ride to the International Space Station.

Booster Test for Space Launch System Rocket

NASA: Image of the Day -

The second and final qualification motor (QM-2) test for the Space Launch System’s booster is seen, Tuesday, June 28, 2016, at Orbital ATK Propulsion Systems test facilities in Promontory, Utah. During the Space Launch System flight the boosters will provide more than 75 percent of the thrust needed to escape the gravitational pull of the Earth.

Juno on Jupiter's Doorstep

NASA: Image of the Day -

NASA's Juno spacecraft obtained this color view on June 21, 2016, at a distance of 6.8 million miles (10.9 million kilometers) from Jupiter. Juno will arrive at Jupiter on July 4. As Juno makes its initial approach, the giant planet's four largest moons -- Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto -- are visible.

A Test Version of the Booster for NASA's New Rocket

NASA: Image of the Day -

A test version of the booster for NASA's new rocket, the Space Launch System, will fire up for the second of two qualification ground tests at 10:05 a.m. EDT (8:05 a.m. MDT) Tuesday, June 28 at prime contractor Orbital ATK's test facility in Promontory, Utah. NASA Television will air live coverage of the booster test June 28 beginning at 9:30 a.m.

Hubble Sees New Dark Spot on Neptune

NASA: Image of the Day -

New images obtained on May 16, 2016, by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope confirm the presence of a dark vortex in the atmosphere of Neptune. This full visible-light image shows that the dark feature resides near and below a patch of bright clouds in the planet's southern hemisphere.

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