Goddard's Astrophysics Gallery

This multimedia gallery assembles and organizes the astrophysics content on the Scientific Visualization Studio website. All of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center's animations, visualizations, videos and still images relating to the universe beyond our Solar System are here. Browse through the basic categories or find Goddard's most recent releases under each specific astronomical feature. Find all the content relating to a particular satellite under "Missions." Most entries have multiple downloadable formats and several resolutions.

Content Contact:

Media Types

Universe

Galaxies

Stars

Black Holes

X-Rays

Big Bang

Exoplanets

Nebulae

Missions

  • Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope
    Gallery
    NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has completed its primary mission, and it will continue to explore the high-energy cosmos in unprecedented detail. These pages gather together media products associated with Fermi news releases starting before its 2008 launch, when it was known as GLAST.

    Fermi detects gamma rays, the most powerful form of light, with energies thousands to billions of times greater than the visible spectrum.

    The mission has discovered pulsars, proved that supernova remnants can accelerate particles to near the speed of light, monitored eruptions of black holes in distant galaxies, and found giant bubbles linked to the central black hole in our own galaxy.

    For more information about the Fermi mission, visit its NASA webpage.

  • Neutron star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER)
    Gallery
    NASA mission on the International Space Station. For more information visit the NICER website.
  • Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory
    Gallery
    NASA's Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory provides astronomers with a unique tool for exploring many different classes of astronomical phenomena, from gamma-ray bursts and supernovae to spinning neutron stars, outbursts from black holes, and even exoplanets, comets and asteroids. These pages gather together media products associated with Swift news releases.

    For more information about the Swift mission, visit its NASA webpage.

  • Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS)
    Gallery
    The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is a NASA Explorer mission launching in 2018 to study exoplanets, or planets orbiting stars outside our solar system. TESS will discover thousands of exoplanets in orbit around the brightest stars in the sky. It will monitor more than 200,000 stars, looking for temporary dips in brightness caused by planets transiting across these stars. This first-ever spaceborne all-sky transit survey will identify a wide range of planets, from Earth-sized to gas giants. The mission will find exoplanet candidates for follow-up observation from missions like the James Webb Space Telescope, which will determine whether these candidates could support life.


    For more information, please visit the TESS website.

  • James Webb Space Telescope
    Gallery
    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 Glaxy. 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 Apollo program, and who was a staunch supporter of space science.
  • Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope
    Gallery
    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

Special Features

  • Black Holes
    Gallery
    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.
  • Exoplanets
    Gallery
    An exoplanet is a planet orbiting a star other than the Sun. Of particular interest are planets that may orbit in their star’s habitable zone, the distance from a star where temperatures allow liquid water to persist on a planet’s surface, given a suitable atmosphere. Since water is necessary for life as we know it, its presence is required for worlds to be considered capable of supporting life. Exoplanets can also teach us more about planets in the universe, such as the diversity of planets in the galaxy, how they interact with their host stars and with each other, and how common solar systems like ours really are. Using a wide variety of methods, astronomers have discovered more than 3,700 exoplanets to date, largely thanks to NASA's Kepler/K2 mission. Other NASA missions also play a key role in detecting exoplanets. The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, which launched in April 2018, will monitor 200,000 of the brightest dwarf stars for transiting exoplanets. Future missions like the James Webb Space Telescope will be able to study these discovered planets in greater detail, helping determine their composition. Researchers in NASA Goddard Space Flight Center's Sellers Exoplanet Environments Collaboration are leveraging work across disciplines to better understand exoplanets. Areas like planet-star interactions, planetary formation, and even study of the Earth itself enable researchers to develop tools to learn more about how exoplanets evolve, and what ingredients are necessary to support life.
  • Fermi's First Five Years
    Gallery
    NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has completed its primary mission, and it will continue to explore the high-energy cosmos in unprecedented detail. These pages gather together media products associated with Fermi news releases from before its 2008 launch, when it was known as GLAST, to the start of its extended mission in August 2013.

    Watch the video below for a quick look at science highlights from Fermi's first five years in space.

                       Download video in HD formats

    Fermi detects gamma rays, the most powerful form of light, with energies thousands to billions of times greater than the visible spectrum.

    The mission has discovered pulsars, proved that supernova remnants can accelerate particles to near the speed of light, monitored eruptions of black holes in distant galaxies, and found giant bubbles linked to the central black hole in our own galaxy.

    For more information about the Fermi mission, visit its NASA webpage.

  • Highlights of Swift's Decade of Discovery
    Gallery
    NASA's Swift Gamma-ray Burst Explorer continues to provide astronomers with a unique tool for exploring many different classes of astronomical phenomena, from gamma-ray bursts and supernovae to spinning neutron stars, outbursts from black holes, and even comets and asteroids. These pages gather together media products associated with Swift news releases from before its 2004 launch to its 10th anniversary in 2014.

    For more information about the Swift mission, visit its NASA webpage.

  • Webb AR App Media
    Gallery
    Backend video content to support the Webb AR app