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See a Ravioli Moon, Jovian Swirls and More Space Treats
A tiny moon that looks like pasta, full-color storms on Jupiter, spacewalking in the dark and more of March 2017's best space pictures.
Spacewalk in the Dark
NASA astronauts Peggy Whitson, left, and Shane Kimbrough work on the outside of the International Space Station during a spacewalk on March 30. ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet, who supported the spacewalk from inside the Station, posted this image on twitter commenting: "Sometimes when we're on the dark side of the Earth, EVA [Extravehicular activity] feels like scuba diving at night."
So Many Stars
The irregular shaped dust cloud at the top of this image is a remnant of supernova explosion SNR 0509-68.7 (also known as N103B) in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a neighboring galaxy of the Milky Way just over 160,000 light years from Earth. Captured by the Hubble Space Telescope, the image was released on March 30.
Streak of Light in the Sky
The International Space Station is seen in this ten-second exposure as it flies over the grounds of the U.S. Capitol on March 29. Onboard are NASA astronauts Share Kimbrough and Peggy Whitson, Russian cosmonauts Andrey Borisenko, Sergey Ryzhikov, and Oleg Novitskiy, and ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet.
This enhanced-color image of a mysterious dark spot on Jupiter reveals a Jovian "galaxy" of swirling storms. The image was acquired by NASA's Juno orbiter from 9,000 miles above the giant planet's cloud tops.
Citizen scientist Roman Tkachenko enhanced the color to bring out the rich detail in the storm and surrounding clouds.
The Juno spacecraft successfully entered the orbit of Jupiter on July 4, 2016. Image released on March 27.
This image from the Hubble Space Telescope reveals a young super star cluster known as Westerlund 1, only 15,000 light-years away in our Milky Way neighborhood, yet home to one of the largest stars ever discovered.
Originally named Westerlund 1-26, this monster star is a red hypergiant with a radius over 1,500 times that of our sun. If Westerlund 1-26 were placed where our sun is in our solar system, it would extend out beyond the orbit of Jupiter.
Image released on March 10.
Farewell to Mimas
NASA's Cassini spacecraft captured this view of Saturn's moon Mimas as it made its final close approach on Jan. 30, 2017, passing 25,620 miles from Mimas. All future observations of Mimas will be from more than twice this distance.
This mosaic, released on March 14, is one of the highest resolution views ever captured of the icy moon, which is pockmarked with countless craters. The left side of the moon is lit by reflected light from Saturn.
A SpaceX rocket blasts off from Kennedy Space Center on March 30 in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
According to SpaceX, the launch, part of the SES-10 Mission, marks the first "reflight of an orbital class rocket," and will help determine whether rockets that have already flown in space can be reused for subsequent flights, which, if successful, could drastically reduce the cost of commercial space travel.
Saturn's tiny moon, Pan, was captured on March 7 during a flyby by NASA's Cassini spacecraft. The images captured during the flyby are the closest images ever taken of the moon which has an average diameter of only 17 miles.
Pan's prominent equatorial ridge gives it a distinctive flying saucer shape. The ridge is believed to be the result of material from Saturn's rings raining down on the moon.
The European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope captured this image of NGC 1055, a large galaxy thought to be up to 15 percent larger in diameter than the Milky Way.
NGC 1055 appears to lack the whirling arms characteristic of a spiral, as it is seen edge-on. However, it displays odd twists in its structure that were probably caused by an interaction with a large neighboring galaxy.
Image released on March 1.
Month in Space: February 2017
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