This false-color mosaic was constructed from a series of 53 images taken through three spectral filters by Galileo's imaging system as the spacecraft flew over the northern regions of the Moon on December 7, 1992. The part of the Moon visible from Earth is on the left side in this view. NASA/JPL
This image of Saudi Arabia shows a great sea of linear dunes in part of the Rub' al Khali, or the Empty Quarter. Acquired on June 25, 2000, the image covers an area of 23 miles wide and 17 miles long in three bands of the reflected visible and infrared wavelength region. The dunes are yellow due to the presence of iron oxide minerals. NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDA C/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team
Three newly-discovered streams arcing high over the Milky Way Galaxy are remnants of cannibalized galaxies and star clusters. The streams are between 13,000 and 130,000 light-years distant from Earth and extend over much of the northern sky. Two of the newly discovered streams are almost certainly the remains of ancient star clusters. Known to astronomers as globular clusters, these giant stellar cities contain between tens of thousands and millions of stars. NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Hurt (SSC)
This infrared image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows the Rosette nebula, a pretty star-forming region more than 5,000 light-years away in the constellation Monoceros. In optical light, the nebula looks like a rosebud, but lurking inside this delicate cosmic rosebud are so-called planetary "danger zones" (see sphere illustrations). These zones surround super hot stars, called O-stars (blue stars inside spheres), which give off intense winds and radiation. NASA/JPL-Caltech/Z. Balog (Univ. of Ariz./Univ. of Szeged)
The experimental X-43A hypersonic research aircraft, part aircraft and part spacecraft, will be dropped from the wing of a modified B-52 aircraft, boosted to nearly 100,000 feet altitude by a booster rocket and released over the Pacific Ocean to briefly fly under its own power at seven times the speed of sound, almost 5,000 mph. The flight is part of the Hyper-X program, a research effort designed to demonstrate alternate propulsion technologies for access to space and high-speed flight within the atmosphere. Jeff Caplan/NASA Langley
NGC 6751, a planetary nebula in the Milky Way Galaxy is about 6,500 light-years away. NASA/The Hubble Heritage Team/STScI/AURA
In this 50-light-year-wide view of the central region of the Carina Nebula, a maelstrom of star birth — and death — is taking place. This image is a mosaic of the Carina Nebula assembled from 48 frames taken with Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys. The Hubble images were taken in the light of neutral hydrogen during March and July 2005. Color information was added with data taken in December 2001 and March 2003 at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile. Red corresponds to sulfur, green to hydrogen, and blue to oxygen emission. NASA/ESA/G. Bacon/STScI
This is an artist's concept of a gas cloud (left) that acts as a natural ultraviolet laser, near the huge, unstable star Eta Carinae, one of the most massive and energetic stars in our Milky Way Galaxy. Since it's unlikely that a single beam from the cloud would happen to be precisely aimed in Earth's direction, the astronomers conclude that numerous beams must be radiating from the cloud in all directions like beams from a mirrored disco ball. The interstellar laser may result from Eta Carinae's violently chaotic eruptions, illustrated here as a reddish (due to light scattering by dust) outflow from the bright star. NASA
On April 12, 1961 Yuri Gagarin became the first human in space. News of his successful launch stunned the world and spurred the American space program to catch up. The name of his spacecraft was Vostok 1. Vostok 1 had two sections. One section was for Yuri, and the second section was for oxygen and water. NASA
This is a composite image of N49, the brightest supernova remnant in optical light in the Large Magellanic Cloud. The Chandra X-ray image (blue) shows million-degree gas in the center. Much cooler gas at the outer parts of the remnant is seen in the infrared image from Spitzer (red). NASA/CXC/Caltech/S. Kulkarni/STScI/UIUC/Y.H. Chu/R.Williams/JPL-Caltech/R. Gehrz
On Thursday, the UN reported that militants in northern Iraq were ordering mutilation of women and girls. Analysts quickly challenged the report, and the UN is continuing to investigate.
ByStephanie Nebehay, Reuters
Shortly after the United Nations reported Thursday that militant group Islamic State had ordered girls and women to undergo female genital mutilation, doubts emerged on social media about the basis for the report. One document posted on Twitter suggested the order may be a year old and have been issued by the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIS) the group's previous name.