• The rear wheels of the space shuttle orbiter Columbia touched down on Rogers dry lake at Edwards Air Force Base, NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center (then Dryden), California, to successfully complete a stay in space of more than two days. Astronauts John W. Young, STS-1 commander, and Robert L. Crippen, pilot, were aboard the vehicle.
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  • Expedition 47 Commander Tim Kopra of NASA captured this brightly lit night image of the city of Chicago on April 5, 2016, from the International Space Station. Kopra (@astro_tim) wrote, “#Goodnight #Chicago from @Space_Station. #CitiesFromSpace”
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  • An Air Force Test Pilot School T-38C passes in front of the sun at a supersonic speed, creating shockwaves that are caught photographically for research. NASA is using a modern version of schlieren imagery to visualize supersonic flow phenomena with full-scale aircraft in flight. The results will help engineers design a quiet supersonic transport.
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  • It’s difficult to get a sense of scale when viewing Saturn’s rings, but the Cassini Division (seen here between the bright B ring and dimmer A ring) is almost as wide as the planet Mercury.
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  • Expedition 47 Flight Engineer Tim Peake of ESA took this photograph on April 6, 2016, as the International Space Station flew over Madagascar, showing three of the five spacecraft docked to the station. The station crew awaits the scheduled launch today, April 8, of the third resupply vehicle in three weeks: a SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft.
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  • Twenty-five years ago, NASA launched the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, an astronomical satellite that transformed our knowledge of the high-energy sky. In this view, taken on April 7, 1991, from the aft flight deck window of space shuttle Atlantis, the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory is released by the shuttle’s remote manipulator system.
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  • Astronomers have uncovered a near-record breaking supermassive black hole in an unlikely place: in the center of a galaxy in a sparsely populated area of the universe. The observations, made by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and the Gemini Telescope in Hawaii, may indicate that these monster objects may be more common than once thought.
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  • The Gulf Stream waters flow in somewhat parallel layers, slicing across what is otherwise a fairly turbulent western North Atlantic Ocean in this March 9, 2016 image collected by the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite on NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite. The turbulence is made visible by the pigmented phytoplankton it entrains.
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  • Expedition 47 Flight Engineer Tim Peake of ESA took this striking photograph of the moon from his vantage point aboard the International Space Station on March 28, 2016. Peake shared the image on March 30 and wrote to his social media followers, “I was looking for #Antarctica – hard to spot from our orbit. Settled for a moonset instead.”
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  • Engineers at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston are evaluating how crews inside a mockup of the Orion spacecraft interact with the rotational hand controller and cursor control device while inside their Modified Advanced Crew Escape spacesuits.
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  • Peering deep into the dusty heart of our Milky Way galaxy using infrared vision, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope reveals a rich tapestry of more than half a million stars. Except for a few blue foreground stars, the stars are part of the Milky Way’s nuclear star cluster, the most massive and densest star cluster in our galaxy.
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  • During an International Space Station flyover of Australia, NASA astronaut Jeff Williams captured a colorful image of the coast and shared it with his social media followers on March 29, 2016, writing, “The unique terrain of the northwestern Australian coast.”
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  • The Oceans Melting Greenland (OMG) field campaign team is flying NASA’s G-III aircraft at about 40,000 feet. On a clear day, this altitude also provides a stunning perspective of one of the world’s two great ice sheets (the other is Antarctica). The flight Saturday, March 26, over the northeast coastline was one of those clear days.
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  • The turbulent atmosphere of a hot, gaseous planet known as HD 80606b is shown in this simulation based on data from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope.Spitzer measured the whole heating cycle of this planet, determining its coolest (less than 400 degrees Fahrenheit) and hottest (2,000 degrees Fahrenheit) temperatures.
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  • This cosmic kaleidoscope of purple, blue and pink marks the site of two colliding galaxy clusters.
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