Featured Images

This page showcases space images from various sources, missions and targets. These images change often so check back!

Yutu

Target: Moon

Mission: Chang'E 3, Chinese Space Agency

Instrument: Yutu rover, Panoramic camera

DescriptionThis is a mosaic of six images captured by the Yutu rover on January 13, 2014, after it had driven southwest of the lander to visit a large block of impact ejecta that the team named Long Yan (Pyramid Rock).

Image Credit: Chinese Academy of Sciences / China National Space Administration / The Science and Application Center for Moon and Deepspace Exploration / Emily Lakdawalla Click here for image page.

Target: Saturn

Mission: Cassini-Huygens, NASA, ESA, Italian Space Agency

Instrument: Wide-angle camera

Feature: Tehtys tops Saturn

Description: An illusion of perspective, Saturn’s moon Tethys seems to hang above the planet's north pole in this view from NASA's Cassini spacecraft. Tethys (660 miles or 1,062 kilometers across) is actually farther away than Saturn in this image. Lacking visual clues about distance, our brains place the moon above Saturn's north pole. Tethys, like all of Saturn's major moons and its ring system, orbits almost exactly in the planet's equatorial plane.

This view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from about 17 degrees above the ring plane. The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft's wide-angle camera on Jan. 26, 2015 using a spectral filter which preferentially admits wavelengths of near-infrared light centered at 752 nanometers.

The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 2.1 million miles (3.4 million kilometers) from Saturn. Image scale on Saturn is 120 miles (200 kilometers) per pixel. Tethys has been brightened by a factor of three relative to Saturn to enhance its visibility.

The Cassini mission is a cooperative project of NASA, ESA (the European Space Agency) and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colorado.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov and http://www.nasa.gov/cassini .

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute Click here for image page.

Target: Pluto

Mission: New Horizons, NASA

Feature: The mountainous shoreline of Sputnik Planum

Description: In this highest-resolution image from NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, great blocks of Pluto’s water-ice crust appear jammed together in the informally named al-Idrisi mountains. Some mountain sides appear coated in dark material, while other sides are bright. Several sheer faces appear to show crustal layering, perhaps related to the layers seen in some of Pluto’s crater walls. Other materials appear crushed between the mountains, as if these great blocks of water ice, some standing as much as 1.5 miles high, were jostled back and forth. The mountains end abruptly at the shoreline of the informally named Sputnik Planum, where the soft, nitrogen-rich ices of the plain form a nearly level surface, broken only by the fine trace work of striking, cellular boundaries and the textured surface of the plain’s ices (which is possibly related to sunlight-driven ice sublimation). This view is about 50 miles wide. The top of the image is to Pluto’s northwest.

Image Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI Click here for image page.

This image of the sunlit part of Jupiter and its swirling atmosphere was created by a citizen scientist using data from NASA's Juno's JunoCam instrument.

Target: Jupiter

Mission: Juno, NASA

Instrument: JunoCam

Feature: Jupiterrise

Description: This image of the sunlit part of Jupiter and its swirling atmosphere was created by a citizen scientist (Alex Mai) using data from Juno's JunoCam instrument. JunoCam's raw images are available at www.missionjuno.swri.edu/junocam for the public to peruse and process into image products.

JPL manages the Juno mission for the principal investigator, Scott Bolton, of Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. Juno is part of NASA's New Frontiers Program, which is managed at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, for NASA's Science Mission Directorate. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, built the spacecraft. Caltech in Pasadena, California, manages JPL for NASA.

More information about Juno is online at http://www.nasa.gov/juno and http://missionjuno.swri.edu.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Mai Click here for image page.

Target: Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Mission: Rosetta, ESA

Instrument: OSIRIS narrow-angle camera

Feature: 

Description: Rosetta’s OSIRIS narrow-angle camera captured this image of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko at 01:20 GMT from an altitude of about 16 km above the surface during the spacecraft’s final descent on 30 September.

The image scale is about 30 cm/pixel and the image measures about 614 m across.

Id 366050

Image Credit: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA Click here for image page.

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Target: Mars

Mission: Mars Science Laboratory, Curiosity Rover

Instrument: Navcam

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/Thomas Appere

Target: Mars

Mission: Mars Science Laboratory, Curiosity Rover

Instrument: MastCam

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/James Sorenson

Curiosity arrives at Murray Buttes. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/James Sorenson

Feature: Murray Buttes

Description: MSL Curiosity arrives at Murray Buttes at the base of Mount Sharp.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, manages the Mars Science Laboratory Project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. JPL designed and built the project's Curiosity rover and its Navcam. For more information about Curiosity, visit http://www.nasa.gov/msl and http://mars.nasa.gov/msl

 

Target: Mars

Mission: Mars Science Laboratory, Curiosity Rover

Instrument: Navcam

Feature: Slip Face on Downwind Side of 'Namib' Sand Dune on Mars

DescriptionThis view from NASA's Curiosity Mars Rover shows the downwind side of "Namib Dune," which stands about 13 feet (4 meters) high. The site is part of Bagnold Dunes, a band of dark sand dunes along the northwestern flank of Mars' Mount Sharp.

The component images stitched together into this scene were taken with Curiosity's Navigation Camera (Navcam) on Dec. 17, 2015, during the 1,196th Martian day, or sol, of the rover's work on Mars. In late 2015 and early 2016, Curiosity is conducting the first up-close studies ever made of active sand dunes anywhere but on Earth. Under the influence of Martian wind, the Bagnold Dunes are migrating up to about one yard or meter per Earth year. The view spans from westward on the left to east-southeastward on the right. It is presented as a cylindrical perspective projection.

The downwind, or lee, side of the dunes displays textures quite different from those seen on other surfaces of the dunes. Compare this scene, for example, to a windward surface of nearby "High Dune" (at http://mars.nasa.gov/multimedia/images/?ImageID=7581) from three weeks earlier. As on Earth, the downwind side of a sand dune has a steep slope called a slip face. Sand grains blowing across the windward side of a dune become sheltered from the wind by the dune itself. The sand falls out of the air and builds up on the lee slope until it becomes steepened and flows in mini-avalanches down the face.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, manages the Mars Science Laboratory Project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. JPL designed and built the project's Curiosity rover and its Navcam. For more information about Curiosity, visit http://www.nasa.gov/msl and http://mars.nasa.gov/msl

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
 Click here for image page.

Sol 1194 Navcam Namib Dune

Target: Mars

Mission: Mars Science Laboratory, Curiosity Rover

Instrument: Navcam

Feature: Slip Face on Downwind Side of 'Namib' Sand Dune on Mars

DescriptionThis view from NASA's Curiosity Mars Rover shows the downwind side of "Namib Dune," which stands about 13 feet (4 meters) high. The site is part of Bagnold Dunes, a band of dark sand dunes along the northwestern flank of Mars' Mount Sharp.

The component images stitched together into this scene were taken with Curiosity's Navigation Camera (Navcam) on Dec. 17, 2015, during the 1,196th Martian day, or sol, of the rover's work on Mars. In late 2015 and early 2016, Curiosity is conducting the first up-close studies ever made of active sand dunes anywhere but on Earth. Under the influence of Martian wind, the Bagnold Dunes are migrating up to about one yard or meter per Earth year. The view spans from westward on the left to east-southeastward on the right. It is presented as a cylindrical perspective projection.

The downwind, or lee, side of the dunes displays textures quite different from those seen on other surfaces of the dunes. Compare this scene, for example, to a windward surface of nearby "High Dune" (at http://mars.nasa.gov/multimedia/images/?ImageID=7581) from three weeks earlier. As on Earth, the downwind side of a sand dune has a steep slope called a slip face. Sand grains blowing across the windward side of a dune become sheltered from the wind by the dune itself. The sand falls out of the air and builds up on the lee slope until it becomes steepened and flows in mini-avalanches down the face.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, manages the Mars Science Laboratory Project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. JPL designed and built the project's Curiosity rover and its Navcam. For more information about Curiosity, visit http://www.nasa.gov/msl and http://mars.nasa.gov/msl

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
 Click here for image page.

 

Target: Mars

Mission: Mars Science Laboratory, Curiosity Rover

Instrument: MastCam

Feature: Mastcam Telephoto of a Martian Dune's Downwind Face

DescriptionThis view combines multiple images from the telephoto-lens camera of the Mast Camera (Mastcam) on NASA's Curiosity Mars rover to reveal fine details of the downwind face of "Namib Dune." The site is part of the dark-sand "Bagnold Dunes" field along the northwestern flank of Mount Sharp. Images taken from orbit have shown that dunes in the Bagnold field move as much as about 3 feet (1 meter) per Earth year.

Sand on this face of Namib Dune has cascaded down a slope of about 26 to 28 degrees. The top of the face is about 13 to 17 feet (4 to 5 meters) above the rocky ground at its base. 

The downwind side of a sand dune displays textures quite different from those seen on other surfaces of the dune. Compare this scene, for example, to a windward surface of nearby "High Dune" (at http://mars.nasa.gov/multimedia/images/?ImageID=7581). As on Earth, the downwind side of these Martian dunes has a steep slope called a slip face, where accumulating sand flows in mini-avalanches down the face.

The component images of this mosaic view were taken on Dec. 21, 2015, during the 1,200th Martian day, or sol, of Curiosity's work on Mars. The mission's examination of dunes in the Bagnold field, along the rover's route up the lower slope of Mount Sharp, is the first close look at active sand dunes anywhere other than Earth.

The scene is presented with a color adjustment that approximates white balancing, to resemble how the sand would appear under daytime lighting conditions on Earth. Figure A includes a superimposed scale bar of 100 centimeters (39.4 inches). 

Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego, built and operates the rover's Mastcam. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, manages the Mars Science Laboratory Project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. JPL designed and built the project's Curiosity rover. For more information about Curiosity, visit http://www.nasa.gov/msl and http://mars.nasa.gov/msl

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS Click here for image page.