Saturday, November 28, 2009


Parting shot
This beautiful picture of the planetary nebula Kohoutek 4-55, taken on May 4, was the last image delivered by the Hubble Space Telescope's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2, the instrument credited with saving the once-troubled observatory. Spacewalkers from the shuttle Atlantis replaced the 16-year-old camera with a new instrument.

Kilauea, from space
Kilauea Volcano, on the island of Hawaii, has been erupting continuously since 1983. This image, taken by the shuttle Atlantis' crew on May 13, shows volcanic plumes rising up from three locations on Kilauea. The plumes envelop the island in a blanket of volcanic fog, or "vog."

Message from Mercury
New observations from NASA's Messenger spacecraft reveal never-before-seen portions of Mercury, including a giant impact crater that spans a length equivalent to the distance between Washington and Boston. This imagery was acquired in 2008 and published in the May 1 issue of the journal Science.

Red moon rising
A crescent moon is seen rising in the sky above the domes of the Smolny Cathedral in St. Petersburg, Russia, during the early hours of May 19.

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