Thursday, December 30, 2010

Happy New Year!

It's just a few more days until the start of the new year. To celebrate, here's a look back at some of the best of NASA's image of the day gallery from 2010. Clicking on each picture will take you back to the original image where you can learn more about the subject and download a higher resolution photo. Happy New Year!

[Space shuttle Endeavor is silhouetted against the Earth's atmosphere as it prepares to dock with the International Space Station on Feb. 9. Photo credit: NASA.]

[This Hubble photo of the Carina Nebula taken in April shows a dense area of newborn stars. Photo credit: NASA/ESA/M. Livio/Hubble 20th Anniversary Team.]

[NASA astronaut Garrett Reisman takes a self portrait during a spacewalk in May as part of the STS-132 mission. The International Space Station and Earth can be seen in the reflection of his visor. Photo credit: NASA.]

[This photo of Saturn's silhouette was taken by the Cassini probe on Feb. 13. In this image, the Sun is behind Saturn, illuminating the planet's uppermost atmosphere and the Sun-facing side of its rings. Photo credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute.]

[A twisting solar prominence occurring during a March 30 eruption on the Sun is captured by the Solar Dynamics Observatory's Atmospheric Imaging Assembly. Photo Credit: NASA/SDO/AIA.]

[Astronauts Michael Good (left) and Garrett Reisman peek inside the rear windows of Space Shuttle Atlantis' flight deck during their third STS-132 spacewalk in May. Photo credit: NASA]

[A Hungarian stream turned red with toxic sludge is seen by a NASA satellite. On Oct. 4, an accident occurred at an aluminum oxide plant in western Hungary, spilling toxic red sludge that pooled over 6 feet deep in places, killing at least four people instantly. Photo credit: NASA.]

[A total lunar eclipse is seen on the morning of the winter solstice, Dec. 21, the first time the two events have happened on the same day in over 300 years. A lunar eclipse happens when the Earth passes between the Sun and the Moon, blocking sunlight from illuminating the Moon's surface. Photo credit: NASA.]

[This Hubble image shows an unusual spiral surrounding the dying star LL Pegasi. Scientists think LL Pegasi's orbit with its binary star companion is responsible for the spiral shape. Photo credit: NASA/ESA/Hubble/R. Sahai, JPL.]

[Hurricane Celia was captured over the Pacific Ocean by NASA's Aqua satellite on June 24. Just five minutes after this photo was taken, the storm was upgraded to a Category 4 hurricane thanks to its sustained winds of 135 mph. The storm's well-defined eye is an indicator of its strength. Photo credit: NASA.]

[This Common Extensible Cryogenic Engine (CECE) is seen completing its final hot-fire test this summer. The engine is capable of deep throttling, or precise throttling down to allow a smooth and controlled landing. Deep throttling engines could allow spacecraft to land on unfamiliar surfaces like those on asteroids or other planets. Photo credit: NASA]

[The flat anvil dome of a cumulonimbus cloud is seen over Africa. Cumulonimbus clouds bring heavy precipitation, lightning, hail, strong winds and tornadoes. Photo credit: NASA.]

[This false-color image of the Islands of the Four Mountains, snow-capped volcanoes in Alaska's Aleutian Island chain, was taken by NASA's Terra satellite in August. Mt. Cleveland, the active volcano in the center of the image, can be seen spewing a light plume of ash and gas. Photo credit: NASA.]

[This infrared photo from the European Space Agency's Herschel Space Observatory shows the dust cloud next to the Rosette Nebula, a "stellar nursery," located about 5,000 light-years from earth in the constellation Monoceros. Photo credit: ESA/PACS & SPIRE Consortium/HOBYS Key Programme Consortia.]

[The Florida peninsula at night as seen by the crew of the International Space Station on Dec. 28, 2010. Photo credit: NASA.]

[Space Shuttle Endeavour is seen on launchpad 39-A two days before its Feb. 8 launch. Endeavour is currently scheduled to be the orbiter to make the final shuttle launch on April 1 before NASA's shuttle fleet is retired. One more flight, however, may be added after Endeavour's April launch, which would make Atlantis the last orbiter to fly. Photo credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls.]

[These two lasers originating from facilities at the Geophysical and Astronomical Observatory at the Goddard Space Flight Center keep track of orbiting satellites. These two lasers are tracking a satellite orbiting the Moon. Photo credit: NASA.]

[The space shuttle crew of STS-133 hams it up during a break in launch countdown training. Space Shuttle Discovery was first scheduled to launch on Nov. 1 but has been delayed several times due to technical problems and once for weather. The current launch date for the second-to-last space shuttle mission is scheduled for Feb. 3. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett.]

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