Month in Space: June 2016

An astronaut returns to Earth, a rocket test in Utah, a stunning aurora and more of the best space pictures from June 2016.

NASA astronaut Jeff Williams captured this image of the International Space Station floating over the Andes on June 7, saying "I feel like this picture may actually be worth 1000 words." Jeff Williams / NASA
Smoke rises as a booster for the Space Launch System is tested in Promontory, Utah, on June 28. This was the last full-scale test for the booster before SLS's first uncrewed test flight with NASA's Orion spacecraft in late 2018, a key milestone on the agency's journey to Mars. Bill Ingalls / NASA

A full "strawberry" moon rises behind Glastonbury Tor as people gather to celebrate the summer solstice on June 20 in Somerset, England. The "strawberry" moon is the name given to a full moon in June by Native Americans because it marks the beginning of strawberry picking season.

PHOTOS: 'Strawberry' Moon Shines During Summer Solstice

Matt Cardy / Getty Images
"Not Mars," said British astronaut Tim Peake when he tweeted this image of the Great Salt Desert of Iran from the International Space Station on June 3. Peake is the first British astronaut to live on the station. Tim Peake / ESA/NASA
Astronauts admire a beam of sunlight penetrating a cave in Sardinia, Italy, during a training session on June 28. The European Space Agency is sending an international team of astronauts into caves to experience the isolation of space. ESA
The stars of the Milky Way appear over Montana's Paradise Valley on June 28, 2016. Ray Farmer / NBC News
The Soyuz TMA-19M capsule carrying NASA's Tim Kopra, Tim Peake of the European Space Agency and Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko descends beneath a parachute on June 18. The three-person crew from the International Space Station landed safely in the sun-drenched steppes of Kazakhstan. Shamil Zhumatov / Pool via AP
Tim Kopra of NASA is helped out of the Soyuz TMA-19M spacecraft just minutes after he and cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko and British astronaut Tim Peake landed in a remote area of Kazakhstan on June 18. Kopra, Peake, and Malenchenko are returning after six months aboard the International Space Station. Bill Ingalls / NASA
A new day dawns for the crew of Expedition 48 on the International Space Station on June 19, as the sun's rays stream through multiple layers of clouds. ESA/NASA
British astronaut Tim Peake captured this view of the waterways of Charleston, South Carolina's oldest city, from the International Space Station on June 9. ESA/NASA
An Ariane 5 rocket takes off from the Guiana Space Center in Korou, French Guyana, on June 18. The rocket successfully released the Echostar 18 and the BRISAT satellites into orbit. ESA/CNES via EPA
The southern lights, or aurora australis, glow above the Earth in this image captured on June 12 by British astronaut Tim Peake on the International Space Station. Tim Peake / ESA/NASA

People enjoy a swing ride as the sun sets at an amusement park in Athens on June 29.

Month in Space: May 2016

Petros Giannakouris / AP