The moon Tethys floats before the massive, golden-hued globe of Saturn in this natural color view. The thin, dark line of the rings curves around the horizon at top.
NASA's Swift satellite views Comet Lulin as it made its closest approach to Earth in February 2009. Lulin, like all comets, is a clump of frozen gases mixed with dust. These 'dirty snowballs' cast off gas and dust whenever they venture near the sun. Comet Lulin, which is formally known as C/2007 N3, was discovered in 2008 by astronomers at Taiwan's Lulin Observatory. Lulin passed closest to Earth -- 38 million miles, or about 160 times farther than the moon -- late on the evening of Feb. 23, 2009, for North America.
A Kashmiri fisherman sits on his boat as the sun sets over the Dal Lake in Srinagar, India, on Friday. Authorities reimposed a rigid curfew throughout most of Kashmir to prevent street protests after Friday prayers following weeks of unrest that has killed 15 people.
This image courtesy of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) shows an artist's impression of an active galaxy that has jets. The central engine is thought to be a supermassive black hole surrounded by an accretion disc and enshrouded in a thick doughnut-shaped structure of gas and dust, which astronomers call a "torus". The torus of dust and gas can be seen orbiting a flatter disc of swirling gas. In the center, the supermassive black hole is surrounded by a flat accretion disc of rapidly orbiting material. The jets are emitted at right angles from the plane of the disc.
Astronomers have discovered 14 failed stars, or brown dwarfs, that are only 350 to 620 degrees Fahrenheit. Compare this with the 10,000-degree blazing awesomeness of our sun.
This image depicts a vast canyon of dust and gas in the Orion Nebula from a 3-D computer model based on observations by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and created by science visualization specialists at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Md. A 3-D visualization of this model takes viewers on an amazing four-minute voyage through the 15-light-year-wide canyon.
The jellyfish-like object depicted is a sphere of stellar innards, blown out from a humongous star as it ages. The star is one of the most massive stellar residents of our Milky Way galaxy.
An infrared mosaic image from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer shows the Heart and Soul nebulae located some 6,000 light-years from Earth. the Heart and Soul nebulae form a vast star-forming complex that makes up part of the Perseus spiral arm of our Milky Way galaxy. The nebula to the left is the Heart, designated IC 1805 and named after its resemblance to a human heart. To the right is the Soul nebula, also known as the Embryo nebula, IC 1848 or W5. Also visible near the bottom of this image are two galaxies, Maffei 1 and Maffei 2.
For years scientists had a hard time figuring out which asteroids the meteorites came from.
Comet McNaught 2009 R1 is pictured in the night sky over Jauerling, Austria, on June 9. The green shimmering comet can be seen with the naked eye under ideal conditions and might become as bright as Ursa Major within June.