The pristine shell is the visible remnant of a powerful stellar explosion, or supernova, in the Large Magellanic Cloud, which is a small galaxy about 160,000 light-years away from Earth.
The thin line of Earth's atmosphere and the setting sun are featured in this image photographed by the crew of the International Space Station while space shuttle Atlantis was docked with the station in 2009.
Scientists seeking an astronomical first – discerning the atmospheric composition of a 'super Earth' exoplanet – have now learned enough to rule out one leading theory.
NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has captured a glowing stellar nursery within a dark globule that is opaque at visible light. These new images pierce through the obscuration to reveal the birth of new protostars and young stars never before seen. The newborn stars form in the dense gas because of compression by the wind and radiation from a nearby massive star. The winds from this unseen star are also responsible for producing the spectacular filamentary appearance of the globule itself, which resembles that of a flying dragon.
Two galaxies perform an intricate dance in this new Hubble Space Telescope image. The galaxies, containing a vast number of stars, swing past each other in a graceful performance choreographed by gravity. The pair, known collectively as Arp 87, is one of hundreds of interacting and merging galaxies known in our nearby universe. Arp 87 is in the constellation Leo, the Lion, approximately 300 million light-years away from Earth. These observations were taken in February 2007 with the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2.
NASA's James Webb Space Telescope will need $1.5 billion added to its $5 billion budget to live up to its scientific promise, a review panel estimates. But the prospects for Congress granting the money are dim.
The TRACE spacecraft observes a massive X-ray flare over solar active region AR9906, April 21, 2002.
This image provided by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope Thursday May 4, 2006 shows a second red spot (lower l.) emerging on Jupiter. For the first time in history, astronomers have witnessed the birth of a new red spot on the giant planet, which is located half a billion miles away. The storm is roughly one-half the diameter of its bigger and legendary cousin, the Great Red Spot. Researchers suggest that the new spot may be related to a possible major climate change in Jupiter's atmosphere.
This image of Vesta released by NASA was captured by the Dawn spacecraft on July 9, 2011, and was taken from a distance of about 62,000 miles (100,000 kilometers) away from the protoplanet. Each pixel in the image corresponds to roughly 5.8 miles.
In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, the sun is covered by the moon during the solar eclipse, in Easter Island, Chile, on July 11, 2010.