Space photos: The most amazing images this week!

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Space photos: The most amazing images this week!

A solar spacecraft took an incredible snapshot of multiple planets, astronauts were photographed before their spacewalk and an aurora was visible from the International Space Station. These are some of the top photos this week from Space.com. 

Solar system snapshot

NASA's Parker Solar Probe spotted six different planets on June 7, 2src2src, with the sun out of frame to the left.

(Image credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Naval Research Laboratory/Guillermo Stenborg and Brendan Gallagher)

NASA’s Parker Solar Probe is tasked with learning about the solar wind, but it also can gather other cool solar-system observations. In new imagery, the spacecraft spotted six different planets on June 7, 2020, with the sun out of frame to the left. From left to right, the planets Mars, Saturn, Jupiter, Venus, Earth and Mercury appear in the image. The spacecraft was roughly 98.3 million miles (158 million kilometers) from Earth when the image was captured. 

Full story: A string of planets in our solar system sparkles in photos from 3 different sun probes

Apollo 15 landing site

A new image created using a demonstration radar transmitter at the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia and receivers from the Very Long Baseline Array, captured in November 2src2src.

(Image credit: NRAO/GBO/Raytheon/NSF/AUI)

This image of the lunar surface shows the Apollo 15 landing site in the Hadley-Apennine region. Researchers used a demonstration radar transmitter at the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia and receivers from the Very Long Baseline Array to produce this image, which was taken in November 2020. 

Full story: US planetary radar may get a boost from Green Bank Observatory

Not yet a star

Known as IRAS 2src324+4src57, but dubbed the Tadpole, this clump of gas and dust has given birth to a bright protostar, one of the earliest steps in building a star. This image was taken by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, and released publicly, in 2src12.

(Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ESA, the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA) and IPHAS)

Protostars are not quite stars yet. They’re still forming and have not achieved the densities and temperatures needed to trigger nuclear fusion. One example of a protostar is IRAS 20324+4057, seen here in this image. Astronomers recently found prebiotic molecules, which may be associated with life, in two other protostars, known as Serpens SMM1-a and IRAS 16293B.

Full story: Prebiotic ingredients for life found around young star

The ‘Lost’ galaxy

The spiral galaxy NGC 4535 is better known as the 'Lost Galaxy' for its famously hazy appearance.

(Image credit: ESA/NASA/Hubble/J. Lee/PHANGS-HST)

The spiral galaxy NGC 4535 is also called the ‘Lost galaxy’ for its hazy appearance. It’s a barred spiral galaxy, like the Milky Way. Barred spiral galaxies feature a vast swirl of stars with a distinct bar structure at its center. 

Full story: NASA finds ‘Lost galaxy’ shining out of Virgo’s bosom

Wolf moon

A picture taken on Jan. 1src, 2src2src shows the Full Wolf Moon rising behind Christmas street decorations during the penumbral lunar eclipse in Skopje, Macedonia.

(Image credit: Robert Atanasovski/AFP/Getty)

A picture taken on Jan. 10, 2020 shows the Full Wolf Moon rising behind Christmas street decorations during the penumbral lunar eclipse in Skopje, Macedonia as seen by photographer Robert Atanasovski. The January 2021 full moon, called the Wolf Moon, occurred on Thursday, Jan. 28, at 2:16 p.m. EST (1916 GMT) according to NASA. The moon was in the constellation Cancer, and rose just a few minutes before sunset.

See also: Amazing photos: The Wolf Moon lunar eclipse of January 2020 in pictures

Victor Glover leaves the station

Today, NASA astronauts Victor Glover and Mike Hopkins are stepping outside the International Space Station for Glover's first spacewalk, or extravehicular activity (EVA). In this photo, you can see Glover preparing for the spacewalk, which will be his first. During the EVA, the pair will install a new antenna on the Columbus module on the outside of the space station.

(Image credit: NASA)

NASA astronauts Victor Glover and Mike Hopkins stepped outside the International Space Station on Wednesday (Jan. 27) for Glover’s first spacewalk, or extravehicular activity (EVA). In this photo, you can see Glover preparing for the spacewalk During the EVA, the pair installed a new antenna on the Columbus module on the outside of the space station. — Chelsea Gohd

Ready for testing

The first complete upper stage of the Ariane 6 launch vehicle from the European Space Agency is seen here packed into a container to travel from ArianeGroup in Bremen in Germany to the DLR German Aerospace Center in Lampoldshausen, Germany. There, it will undergo hot fire testing, or tests during which all engines are ignited while the launch vehicle remains stationary. These tests, which will take place in near-vacuum conditions, will help to prove that the vehicle is flight ready.

(Image credit: ArianeGroup/ Frank T. Koch / Hill Media GmbH)

The first complete upper stage of the Ariane 6 launch vehicle from the European Space Agency is seen here packed into a container to travel from ArianeGroup in Bremen in Germany to the DLR German Aerospace Center in Lampoldshausen, Germany. There, it will undergo hot fire testing, or tests during which all engines are ignited while the launch vehicle remains stationary. These tests, which will take place in near-vacuum conditions, will help to prove that the vehicle is flight ready. — Chelsea Gohd

Simulating space on Earth

In this photo, a scientist at the European Space Agency's Materials and Electrical Components Laboratory at the ESTEC technical center in the Netherlands works on essential mission work. Most ESA employees continue to work from home due to concerns regarding the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, but certain activities are still happening on-site. This lab is supporting a variety of work including the development of new radiation-resistant coatings, which are tested by exposing them to ultraviolet and vacuum-ultraviolet light.

(Image credit: ESA-Nuno Dias)

In this photo, a scientist at the European Space Agency’s Materials and Electrical Components Laboratory at the ESTEC technical center in the Netherlands works on essential mission work. Most ESA employees continue to work from home due to concerns regarding the continuing covid-19 pandemic, but certain activities are still happening on-site. This lab is supporting a variety of work including the development of new radiation-resistant coatings, which are tested by exposing them to ultraviolet and vacuum-ultraviolet light. — Chelsea Gohd

Preparing for ColKa

NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins and Victor Glover will be stepping outside the confines of the International Space Station for a spacewalk tomorrow (Jan. 27, 2src21) during which the pair will install European payloads outside the station. In this image, you can see European Space Agency astronaut Andreas Mogensen installing the Columbus Ka-band (ColKa) terminal, one of the things to be installed during the upcoming spacewalk, during a test at the Neutral Buoyancy Lab.

(Image credit: NASA EVA NBL)

NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins and Victor Glover stepped outside the confines of the International Space Station on Jan. 27, 2021. The pair installed European payloads outside the station. In this image, you can see European Space Agency astronaut Andreas Mogensen installing the Columbus Ka-band (ColKa) terminal, one of the things that was installed during the upcoming spacewalk, during a test at the Neutral Buoyancy Lab. — Chelsea Gohd

An aurora from space

These images, taken from the International Space Station, show Earth's glowing, colorful aurora alongside lights coming from the cities on our planet's surface down below. Aurora is a natural phenomenon in which colorful lights in the sky, which often appear as green, red, yellow or white, are displayed when electrically-charged particles from the sun interact with gases like oxygen or nitrogen in our planet's atmosphere.

(Image credit: International Space Station/Twitter)

These images, taken from the International Space Station, show Earth’s glowing, colorful aurora alongside lights coming from the cities on our planet’s surface down below. Aurora is a natural phenomenon in which colorful lights in the sky, which often appear as green, red, yellow or white, are displayed when electrically-charged particles from the sun interact with gases like oxygen or nitrogen in our planet’s atmosphere. — Chelsea Gohd.

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at: [email protected]

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at: [email protected]

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