NGC 2442: Galaxy in Volans

Distorted galaxy NGC 2442 can be found in the southern constellation of the flying fish, (Piscis) Volans. Located about 50 million light-years away, the galaxy’s two spiral arms extending from a pronounced central bar have a hook-like appearance in wide-field images. But this mosaicked close-up, constructed from Hubble Space Telescope and European Southern Observatory data, follows the galaxy’s structure in amazing detail. Obscuring dust lanes, young blue star clusters and reddish star forming regions surround a core of yellowish light from an older population of stars. The sharp image data also reveal more distant background galaxies seen right through NGC 2442’s star clusters and nebulae. The image spans about 75,000 light-years at the estimated distance of NGC 2442. via NASA

Space Station Flight Over the Bahamas

One of the most recognizable points on the Earth for astronauts to photograph is the Bahamas. Randy Bresnik of NASA shared this Aug. 13 photo from the International Space Station, saying, “The stunning Bahamas were a real treat for us. The vivid turquoise of the water over the reef was absolutely captivating.” via NASA

Perseid by the Sea

Just after moonrise on August 12 this grain of cosmic sand fell by the sea, its momentary flash part of the annual Perseid Meteor Shower. To create the Perseid meteors, dust along the orbit of periodic comet Swift-Tuttle is swept up by planet Earth. The cometary debris plows through the atmosphere at nearly 60 kilometers per second and is quickly vaporized at altitudes of 100 kilometers or so. Perseid meteors are often bright and colorful, like the one captured in this sea and night skyscape. Against starry sky and faint Milky Way the serene view looks south and west across the Adriatic Sea, from the moonlit Dalmatian coast toward the island of Brac. via NASA

Spiraling Cloud Patterns Over Guadalupe Island

On May 24, 2017, the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi NPP satellite captured a natural-color image of long, spiraling cloud patterns, or “von Kármán vortices,” on the lee side of Guadalupe Island. The volcanic island rises from the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Baja California, Mexico. via NASA

Stars, Gas, and Dust Battle in the Carina Nebula

Chaos reigns in the Carina Nebula where massive stars form and die. Striking and detailed, this close-up of a portion of the famous nebula is a combination of light emitted by hydrogen (shown in red) and oxygen (shown in blue). Dramatic dark dust knots and complex features revealed are sculpted by the winds and radiation of Carina’s massive and energetic stars. One iconic feature of the Carina Nebula is the dark V-shaped dust lane that occurs in the top half of the image. The Carina Nebula spans about 200 light years, lies about 7,500 light years distant, and is visible with binoculars toward the southern constellation of Carina. In a billion years after the dust settles — or is destroyed, and the gas dissipates — or gravitationally condenses, then only the stars will remain — but not even the brightest ones. via NASA

SpaceX CRS-12 Cargo Mission Launch

The two-stage Falcon 9 launch vehicle lifts off Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kenney Space Center carrying the Dragon resupply spacecraft to the International Space Station. via NASA