Comet Clark is near the Edge. #NASA

Sweeping through this stunning field of view, Comet 71P/Clark really is in the foreground of these cosmic clouds. The 2 panel telescopic mosaic is color enhanced and is about 5 degrees (10 full moons) across. It captures the faint comet’s position on the night of May 23/24 over 5 light-minutes from Earth, very near the line-of-sight to bright star Antares and the Rho Ophiuchi cloud complex. In the frame Antares, also known as Alpha Scorpii, is at bottom center surrounded by a dusty cosmic cloud reflecting the cool giant star’s yellowish light. Globular star cluster M4 shines just right of Antares, but M4 lies some 7,000 light-years away compared to Antares’ 500 light-year distance. Slightly closer than Antares, Rho Ophiuchi’s bluish starlight is reflected by the dust in molecular clouds toward the top. You can spot the small coma and short tail of the comet as a faint smudge near the center of the left edge of the frame. Just look for the comet’s striking greenish color, produced as diatomic carbon molecules fluoresce in sunlight. via NASA http://ift.tt/2qlBhbD

Close-up View of Neutron Star Mission’s X-Ray Concentrator Optics #NASA

A new NASA mission, the Neutron Star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER), is headed for the International Space Station to observe one of the strangest observable objects in the universe. In this photo, NICER’s X-ray concentrator optics are inspected for dust and foreign object debris that could impair functionality once in space. via NASA http://ift.tt/2qjUVZp

Spiral Galaxy NGC 6744 #NASA

Big, beautiful spiral galaxy NGC 6744 is nearly 175,000 light-years across, larger than our own Milky Way. It lies some 30 million light-years distant in the southern constellation Pavo appearing as a faint, extended object in small telescopes. We see the disk of the nearby island universe tilted towards our line of sight. This remarkably distinct and detailed galaxy portrait covers an area about the angular size of the full moon. In it, the giant galaxy’s yellowish core is dominated by the light from old, cool stars. Beyond the core, spiral arms filled with young blue star clusters and pinkish star forming regions sweep past a smaller satellite galaxy at the lower left, reminiscent of the Milky Way’s satellite galaxy the Large Magellanic Cloud. via NASA http://ift.tt/2rYmkwq

Sequence of Juno Spacecraft’s Close Approach to Jupiter #NASA

This sequence of enhanced-color images shows how quickly the viewing geometry changes for NASA’s Juno spacecraft as it swoops by Jupiter. The images were obtained by JunoCam. via NASA http://ift.tt/2rVdhNy

Star Cluster, Spiral Galaxy, Supernova #NASA

A cosmic snapshot from May 19, this colorful telescopic field of view spans about 1 degree or 2 full moons on the sky. Spiky in appearance, foreground Milky Way stars are scattered toward the royal constellation Cepheus while stars of open cluster NGC 6939 gather about 5 thousand light-years in the distance near the top of the frame. Face-on spiral galaxy NGC 6946 is toward the lower left nearly 22 million light-years away. The helpful red lines identify recently discovered supernova SN 2017eaw, the death explosion of a massive star nestled in the galaxy’s bluish spiral arms. In fact in the last 100 years, 10 supernovae have been discovered in NGC 6946. By comparison, the average rate of supernovae in our Milky Way is about 1 every 100 years or so. Of course, NGC 6946 is also known as The Fireworks Galaxy. via NASA http://ift.tt/2qjJIDn

May 24, 1962 – Scott Carpenter on the Way to Mercury-Atlas 7 Launch Site #NASA

Astronaut Scott Carpenter walks to the launch site to begin the Mercury-Atlas 7 (MA-7) mission on May 24, 1962. Carpenter’s Aurora 7 capsule lifted off aboard an Atlas rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 7:45 a.m. EST, May 24. Carpenter was the fourth American in space and second American to orbit Earth. via NASA http://ift.tt/2qQ7tq9

NGC 4565: Galaxy on Edge #NASA

Is our Galaxy this thin? We believe so. Magnificent spiral galaxy NGC 4565 is viewed edge-on from planet Earth. Also known as the Needle Galaxy for its narrow profile, bright NGC 4565 is a stop on many telescopic tours of the northern sky, in the faint but well-groomed constellation Coma Berenices. This sharp, colorful image reveals the galaxy’s bulging central core cut by obscuring dust lanes that lace NGC 4565’s thin galactic plane. An assortment of other background galaxies is included in the pretty field of view, with neighboring galaxy NGC 4562 at the upper left. NGC 4565 itself lies about 40 million light-years distant and spans some 100,000 light-years. Easily spotted with small telescopes, sky enthusiasts consider NGC 4565 to be a prominent celestial masterpiece Messier missed. via NASA http://ift.tt/2qS4ZWw