Purple ‘fireworks’ light up the space around distant baby stars, a microsatellite captured last year’s total solar eclipse from the moon and a Saharan dust plume flowed over the Atlantic Ocean and reached the Caribbean Sea. These are some of the top photos this week from Space.com.
On July 2, 2019, spectators in Chile and Argentina witnessed a total solar eclipse. Turns out another set of eyes — albeit robotic — were watching from the moon. A Chinese microsatellite in lunar orbit called Longjiang 2 used its tiny ‘Inory eye’ camera, pointed towards Earth, during the moment that the moon cast its shadow onto the blue planet’s surface.
Full story: A tiny Chinese satellite spotted the 2019 total solar eclipse from the moon
This animation shows a purple burst of gas gurgling in front of a background infrared image taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile caught the fireworks-like activity when scientists took a new look at the star cluster called G286.21+0.17. This imagery shows the dynamic and chaotic process of star birth, as turbulence plays out on one side of the gas clouds, and stellar winds from the baby stars cause a stir on the other side.
Full story: Cosmic ‘fireworks’ shine in baby star cluster and distant galaxy
A plume carrying hundreds of millions of tons of dust blanketed the Southeastern United States, including Puerto Rico, last weekend (June 26). The plume, which comes from the Sahara Desert, travels across the Atlantic Ocean every year and the particles within it help to build the beaches in the Caribbean and fertilize soils in the Amazon. However, they can also create respiratory issues for people in certain areas. This image is created using satellite data from the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration (NOAA).
Full story: Dust plume bigger than Texas crashes into the US
This image shows the Crew Compartment Trainer-2 (CCT-2). It is the second of two space shuttle orbiter nose section mockups that space shuttle astronauts used to train for space missions. CCT-2 has been housed at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, but now it will be moving to the Tulsa Air and Space Museum in Oklahoma. CCT-2 first went into use at Johnson Space Center in 1993.
Full story: Tulsa Air and Space lands last of NASA’s shuttle crew cabin trainers
NASA astronaut Bob Behnken is pictured here during a June 26 spacewalk. Behnken was joined during the six-hour and seven-minute excursion by NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy (out of frame) to swap batteries and upgrade power systems on the International Space Station’s Starboard-6 truss structure.
Full Story: Spacewalkers complete penultimate set of battery upgrades for space station
This elevation map of Jezero Crater on Mars shows the site in a rainbow of colors, with lighter colors representing higher elevation. This Martian crater is the chosen landing site for NASA’s Perseverance rover, previously known as the Mars 2020 rover, which is set to launch to the Red Planet this summer.
In this image, Expedition 63 flight engineers NASA astronaut Doug Hurley (middle left) and cosmonaut Ivan Vagner (middle right) helped to prepare NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Chris Cassidy for a spacewalk on June 26, 2020. Cassidy and Behnken stepped out for a spacewalk in which they replaced aging nickel-hydrogen batteries on the space station with brand new lithium-ion batteries. The pair embarked on another battery swap spacewalk on Wednesday (July 1.)
NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy snapped this photo of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon vehicle docked with the International Space Station and with Earth’s curvature in the background during a spacewalk with Bob Behnken on Friday, June 26, 2020. During this spacewalk, the pair of astronauts swapped out aging nickel-hydrogen batteries with brand new lithium-ion batteries on the space station.
This new image, taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, shows the incredible stretch of the galaxy NGC 5907, also known as the Knife Edge galaxy. This is a spiral galaxy, much like our home galaxy, the Milky Way. Though, you can’t see the galaxy’s brilliant spiral shape in this image as this image was taken facing the galaxy’s edge.
In this image taken by the Hubble Space Telescope and released June 25, 2020, you can see the star HBC 672, nicknamed “Bat Shadow.” The strange feature got its name because it looks like a large, shadowy wing. But its name has even more meaning as, with new Hubble observations from a team led by Klaus Pontoppidan, an astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Maryland, it appears as if the “bat wings” are “flapping.”
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