This computer simulation is a data-based coronal loop model, constructed from magnetogram data collected by SOHO/MDI. The elegant loops are part of the sun's lower corona, and are caused by magnetic flux in the solar body. NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio
The angle of the sun in this beautiful image of Saturn's rings indicates that the sun is behind the target. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Sept. 15, 2006, at a distance of approximately 1.3 million miles from Saturn. NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Jae Park's artist's concept of Mars exploration is seen in 1994. NASA
On May 5, 1961, at the dawn of the space age, NASA controllers 'lit the candle' and sent Alan B. Shepard Jr. arcing into space atop a Redstone rocket. The picture shows the pressure-suited Shepard before the launch in his cramped space capsule, dubbed 'Freedom 7.' This historic flight - the first spaceflight by an American - made Shepard a national hero. Project Mercury/NASA
NASA's RHESSI instrument can detect gamma-rays from sources on Earth as in this picture from 2005. Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio / NASA
Three major sources contribute to the far-infrared sky: our Solar System, our Galaxy, and our Universe. The above image, in representative colors, is a projection of the entire infrared sky created from years of observations by the robot spacecraft COBE. Our Solar System is evidenced most prominently by the S-shaped blue sash called zodiacal light, created by small pieces of rock and dust orbiting between the Sun and Jupiter. DIRBE Team/COBE/NASA
This image is an artist's conception of the Pegasus, meteoroid detection satellite, in orbit with meteoroid detector extended. The satellite, a payload for Saturn I SA-8, SA-9, and SA-10 missions, was used to obtain data on frequency and penetration of the potentially hazardous micrometeoroids in low Earth orbits and to relay the information back to Earth. NASA
An animation of an M-class solar flare is viewed by the RHESSI instrument on February 20, 2002. On tape, this version plays at a speed of two video frames corresponding to 3.5 seconds of data collection time. Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio / NASA
This photo illustrates how the X-15 rocket powered aircraft was taken aloft under the wing of a B-52. Because of the large fuel consumption, the X-15 was air launched from a B-52 aircraft at 45,000 ft and a speed of about 500 mph. This photo was taken from one of the observation windows in the B-52 shortly before dropping the X-15. The X-15 was a rocket-powered aircraft 50 ft long with a wingspan of 22 ft. It was a missile-shaped vehicle with an unusual wedge-shaped vertical tail, thin stubby wings, and unique side fairings that extended along the side of the fuselage. The X-15 research aircraft was developed to provide in-flight information and data on aerodynamics, structures, flight controls, and the physiological aspects of high-speed, high-altitude flight. NASA
Monkey Baker, who was actually a monkey Astronaut, was later launched from Cape Canaveral. Here he poses on a model of the Jupiter vehicle that would later carry him, on May 29, 1959 NASA
The Chinese government says it has cleaned up rumors and and libelous information on the Internet. Observers argue the government crackdown has lead to self-censorhip and curtailed speech.
Didi Tang, Associated Press /
November 30, 2013
The Chinese government has declared victory in cleaning up what it considers rumors, negativity and unruliness from online discourse, while critics say the moves have suppressed criticism of the government and ruling Communist Party.