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Earth Science Galleries

Heliophysics Galleries

Planetary Science Galleries

Astrophysics Galleries

  • Black Holes
    This gallery gathers together visualizations and narrated videos about black holes. A black hole is a celestial object whose gravity is so intense that even light cannot escape it. Astronomers observe two main types of black holes. Stellar-mass black holes contain three to dozens of times the mass of our Sun. They form when the cores of very massive stars run out of fuel and collapse under their own weight, compressing large amounts of matter into a tiny space. Supermassive black holes, with masses up to billions of times the Sun’s, can be found at the centers of most big galaxies. Although a black hole does not emit light, matter falling toward it collects in a hot, glowing accretion disk that astronomers can detect.
  • Black Hole Week
    This gallery brings together resources related to NASA’s Black Hole Week — videos, social media products, news stories, still images, and assets. This week is a celebration of celestial objects with gravity so intense that even light cannot escape them. Our goal is that no matter where people turn that week they will run into a black hole. (Figuratively, of course — we don’t want anyone falling in!)

Missions and Instrument Galleries

  • James Webb Space Telescope
    The James Webb Space Telescope (sometimes called JWST) is a large, infrared-optimized space telescope. The project is working to a 2021 launch date. Webb will find the first galaxies that formed in the early Universe, connecting the Big Bang to our own Milky Way Galaxy. Webb will peer through dusty clouds to see stars forming planetary systems, connecting the Milky Way to our own Solar System. Webb's instruments are designed to work primarily in the infrared range of the electromagnetic spectrum, with some capability in the visible range. Webb will have a large primary mirror, 6.5 meters (21.3 feet) in diameter and a sunshield the size of a tennis court. Both the mirror and sunshade won't fit onto the Ariane 5 rocket fully open, so both will fold up and open once Webb is in outer space. Webb will operate in an orbit about 1.5 million km (1 million miles) from the Earth. The James Webb Space Telescope was named after the NASA Administrator who crafted the Apollo program, and who was a staunch supporter of space science.
  • Hubble Space Telescope
    Since its launch in 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope has changed our fundamental understanding of the universe. Hubble’s unique design, allowing it to be repaired and upgraded with advanced technology by astronauts, has made it one of NASA’s longest-living and most valuable observatories. Today, Hubble continues to provide views of cosmic wonders never before seen and is still at the forefront of astronomy.


    The Hubble Space Telescope is an international collaboration between NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA).


    For more information visit us at https://nasa.gov/hubble or follow us on social media @NASAHubble.

  • ABoVE
    The Arctic Boreal Vulnerability Experiment, or ABoVE, is a NASA-led, 10-year field experiment designed to better understand the ecological and social consequences of environmental change in one of the most rapidly changing regions on Earth. Satellite, airborne, and ground observations across Alaska and Canada will help us better understand the local and regional effects of changing forests, permafrost, and ecosystems – and how these changes could ultimately affect people and places beyond the Arctic.
  • DAVINCI
    Launching in 2029, NASA’s Deep Atmosphere Venus Investigation of Noble gases, Chemistry and Imaging (DAVINCI) mission will bring a rich suite of instruments to Venus to address long standing questions about Earth’s sister planet. Some scientists think Venus may once have been more Earth-like in the past, with oceans and pleasant surface temperatures -- DAVINCI data will help us determine if this intriguing possibility is true. Clues to Venus’ mysterious past may be hidden in atmospheric gases or in surface rocks formed in association with ancient water in the planet’s mountainous highlands.
  • ICESat-2
    The Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2 will measure the height of Earth from space, creating a record of the planet’s elevation in unprecedented detail and precision. With high-resolution data from ICESat-2’s laser altimeter, scientists will track changes to Earth’s polar ice caps – regions that are a harbinger of warming temperatures worldwide. The mission will also take stock of forests, map ocean surfaces, track the rise of cities and measure everything in between. ICESat-2 continues key elevation observations begun by ICESat-1 (2003 to 2009) and Operation IceBridge (2009 through present), to provide a portrait of change in the beginning of the 21st century.

    For more information, please visit the ICESat-2 website.

  • Landsat
    Since 1972, Landsat satellites have consistently gathered data about our planet for the benefit of the U.S. and the world. The Landsat data archive is the longest continuous remotely sensed global record of Earth’s surface, with all the data free and available to the public. The Landsat satellite missions, jointly managed by NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey, are a central pillar of our national remote sensing capability and established the U.S. as a leader in land imaging. Land cover and land use are changing globally at rates unprecedented in human history. These changes bring profound consequences for weather, ecosystems, resource management, the economy, carbon storage and emissions, human health, and other aspects of society. Landsat datasets are a critical tool in monitoring and managing essential resources in a changing world. Below are highlights of Landsat videos and graphics. Follow this link to see the entire collection of Landsat multimedia.
  • Lucy
    Launching in 2021, NASA's Lucy spacecraft will be the first space mission to study the outer Solar System asteroids known as the Trojans, which are orbiting the same distance from the Sun as Jupiter. These fly-by encounters are planned to take place over a 12-year period. The instruments on board will collect data on surface geology, surface color and composition, the asteroids' interior and bulk properties, as well as any satellites and rings. Lucy is named for the famous Australopithecus afarensis hominid fossil that shed light on our early human ancestors. By making the first exploration of the Trojan asteroids, the Lucy mission will improve our understanding of the early solar system, and be the first to uncover these fossils of planet formation.
  • Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter
    The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO, is a multipurpose NASA spacecraft launched in 2009 to make a comprehensive atlas of the Moon’s features and resources. Since launch, LRO has measured the coldest temperatures in the solar system inside the Moon’s permanently shadowed craters, detected evidence of water ice at the Moon’s south pole, seen hints of recent geologic activity on the Moon, found newly-formed craters from present-day meteorite impacts, tested spaceborne laser communication technology, and much more.
  • MAVEN
    NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) is the first mission devoted to understanding the Martian upper atmosphere. Today Mars is cold and dry, but ancient Mars was warm, wet, and possibly hospitable to life. Scientists think that the loss of Mars' early atmosphere caused the planet to dry up, and MAVEN is testing this hypothesis by observing present-day interactions of the Martian atmosphere with the solar wind. Learn more about MAVEN from NASA and the University of Colorado Boulder.
  • Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope
    Formerly known as WFIRST, the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope, the Roman Space Telescope is a NASA observatory designed to perform wide field imaging and surveys of the near infrared (NIR) sky. The current design of the mission makes use of an existing 2.4m telescope, which is the same size as the Hubble Space Telescope. The Roman Space Telescope is the top-ranked large space mission in the New Worlds, New Horizon Decadal Survey of Astronomy and Astrophysics. The Wide Field Instrument will provide a field of view of the sky that is 100 times larger than images provided by HST. The coronagraph will enable astronomers to detect and measure properties of planets in other solar systems.

    More information about the Roman Space Telescope

  • NICER

    The Neutron star Interior Composition Explorer

    Installed aboard the International Space Station in June 2017, NASA’s Neutron star Interior Composition Explorer provides high-precision measurements of neutron stars, objects containing ultra-dense matter at the threshold of collapse into black holes. NICER will also test, for the first time in space, technology that uses pulsars as navigation beacons. For more information visit the NICER website.
  • OSIRIS-REx
    NASA's OSIRIS-REx mission is exploring near-Earth asteroid Bennu, and preparing to retrieve a sample of the asteroid for study in laboratories on Earth. Bennu is thought to be rich in organic material left over from the formation of the solar system. Returning a sample of the asteroid will help scientists to investigate how the solar system evolved, and to better understand what materials were present during the origins of life. Watch OSIRIS-REx videos on the mission's YouTube channel and NASA Explorer Learn more about OSIRIS-REx from NASA and asteroidmission.org Download the OSIRIS-REx Press Kit
  • SDO

    The Solar Dynamics Observatory

    The Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, is a geosynchronous-orbiting satellite designed to help us understand the Sun’s influence on Earth by studying the solar atmosphere. SDO’s goal is to understand, driving towards a predictive capability, the dynamic solar activity that drives conditions in near-Earth space, called space weather. SDO observations help us explain where the Sun's energy comes from, how the inside of the Sun works, and how the Sun’s atmosphere stores and releases energy in dramatic eruptions.

    Every twelve seconds, SDO images the Sun in ten wavelengths of ultraviolet light. Each wavelength reveals different solar features and is assigned a unique color. Every image is eight times the resolution of HD video. From dark coronal holes or bright active regions on the solar surface to immense eruptions and flares that lash out millions of miles above the surface, SDO looks far into the Sun’s blazing atmosphere.

Special Productions

  • Fulldome Planetarium Gallery
    Visualizations in fulldome format for display in digital planetariums.
  • Visualizations for Educators
    Phenomena are observable events that occur in nature. Data visualizations can offer new ways for students to experience and explore Earth and space phenomena that happen over large scales of time and at great distances. This gallery includes visualizations of phenomena that support topics that are taught in middle and high school and are aligned with select Next Generation Science Standards.

    This gallery was curated by Anne Arundle County Science Teachers Margaret Graham and Jeremy Milligan with support from Dr. Rachel Connolly during the summer of 2022. A video showing how Jeremy Milligan uses SVS resources to develop a phenomena-based lesson is also available.

Special Events

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