The 20 Most Striking Images Ever Captured By NASA

1. In The Shadow of Saturn (2006, CICLOPS/JPL/ESA/NASA)
The Cassini spacecraft captured this image of Saturn eclipsing the sun. This one-of-a-kind view looking at the giant planet from within its shadow revealed an incredibly detailed display of Saturn’s rings, leading to the discovery of new rings. The pale blue dot on the left, near the bright main rings, is Earth, far off in the distance.

2. Solar Flare (2013, NASA/SDO/AIA)
A solar prominence erupts from the sun. (source)

3. Westerlund 2 (2015, NASA/ESA/Hubble)
Westerlund 2 — Hubble’s 25th anniversary image
This spectacular image of the star cluster Westerlund 2 was released to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope.

4. Image from the Hubble Ultra-Deep Field. (2004, NASA/ESA)
Hubble sees galaxies galore
Requiring 800 exposures taken over the course of 400 Hubble orbits around Earth, this image includes nearly 10,000 galaxies. The light from these galaxies have traveled across the cosmos for 14 billion years to reach us.

5. “The Eye of God” (2003, NASA)
The Helix Nebula, or NGC 7293, sometimes referred to as the “Eye of God”.

6. International Space Station under construction. (2006, NASA)
Astronauts Robert L. Curbeam (USA) and Christer Fuglesang (Sweden) work to attach a new truss segment to the ISS and begin to upgrade the power grid. In the background, New Zealand’s South Island is to the left, and North Island is to the right.

7. “Earthrise” (1968, NASA / Bill Anders)
The earth rising above the lunar horizon, taken by Apollo 8 crewmember Bill Anders, while in orbit around the moon.

8. Buzz Aldrin on the moon. (1969, NASA)
Astronaut Buzz Aldrin stands on the surface of the moon during the Apollo 11 moonwalk, photographed by Neil Armstrong.

9. “Pillars of Creation” (2015, NASA/ESA/Hubble)
The interstellar gas and dust of the Eagle Nebula are in the process of creating new stars.

10. Bruce McCandles floating free in space (1984, NASA)
Using a Manned Manuevering Unit or MMU, Bruce McCandles is seen floating 320 feet away from the orbiter performing the first untethered space walk.

11. “Pale Blue Dot” (1990, NASA/Voyager 1)
Taken in 1990 by the Voyager 1 space probe, the “Pale Blue Dot” image is a ‘portrait’ of the solar system captured from a distance of 6 billion kilometers from Earth. The blue dot seen in the center of the light rays is Earth.

12. “The Blue Marble” (1972, NASA/Apollo 17 crew)
The famous photograph of Earth taken by the crew of the Apollo 17 spacecraft en route to the moon.

13. Black Marble (2012, NASA)
This view of the night-time earth and the bright city lights is a composite assembled from data acquired by the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership satellite.

14. Sunset on Mars (2015, NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/Texas A&M Univ.)
NASA’s Curiosity Rover captured this blue sunset on Mars, allowing us a look at a sunset in a different planet.

15. Jupiter’s Great Red Spot (1979, NASA)
Taken by Voyager 1, this image gives a detailed view of the Great Red Spot, the massive, persistent, anti-cyclonic storm on Jupiter.

16. Space shuttle Columbia launching (1981, NASA)
The first space shuttle launch with Columbia carrying John W. Young and Robert Crippen.

17. The International Space Station (2010, NASA/Crew of STS-132)
The International Space Station photographed by a crew member of STS-132 on board the space shuttle Atlantis.

18. The Crab Nebula (NASA/ESA/ASU/J. Hester)
The supernova remnant and pulsar wind nebula M1, also called the “Crab Nebula”. This is the aftermath of a star’s death.

19. Pluto (2015, NASA)
A near-true-color image composite of Pluto taken by the New Horizons spacecraft in 2015 on its journey across the Solar System.

20. The Andromeda Galaxy (2015, NASA)
NASA released this 1.5 billion pixel image of the Andromeda Galaxy, the nearest major galaxy to the Milky Way. It’s the sharpest image of our neighbor galaxy, the largest picture Hubble ever released, and you can take a closer look here.

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