A polar bear and her cub sleep in the snow. The bears are waiting for the Hudson Bay to freeze over so that they can spend the winter hunting seals on the ice.

Seen from orbit a day after a dramatic arrival on the martian surface, the Perseverance landing site is identified in this high-resolution view from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The orbiter's camera image also reveals the location of the Mars 2020 mission descent stage, heat shield, and parachute and back shell that delivered Perseverance to the surface of Mars. Each annotated inset box spans 200 meters (650 feet) across the floor of Jezero Crater. Perseverance is located at the center of the pattern created by rocket exhaust as the descent stage hovered and lowered the rover to the surface. Following the sky crane maneuver, the descent stage itself flew away to crash at a safe distance from the rover, its final resting place indicated by a dark V-shaped debris pattern. Falling to the surface nearby after their separation in the landing sequence, heat shield, parachute and back shell locations are marked in the high-resolution image from Mars orbit.

High Speed Aircraft Division and Branch Personnel with Mary W. Jackson

In this image from February 1974, Mary W. Jackson (second from right in front) is shown with her colleagues in the High Speed Aircraft Division at the Langely Research Center in Virginia. Jackson worked in the Theoretical Performance Group, High Speed Aircraft Division, Office of Director for Aeronautics.

On Friday, Feb. 26, 2021, the NASA Headquarters Building in Washington D.C. was officially renamed after Jackson, the agency's first African American female engineer.

Jackson started her NASA career in the segregated West Area Computing Unit of the agency’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. Jackson, a mathematician and aerospace engineer, went on to lead programs influencing the hiring and promotion of women in NASA's science, technology, engineering, and mathematics careers. In 2019, she was posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal.

View the Mary W. Jackson image gallery.

Image Credit: NASA

Source: www.nasa.gov
At the Castle of Simancas, Spain, a scholar works with ancient texts. The castle holds more than 30 million documents, dating from the 12th through the 19th centuries.

Stitched together on planet Earth, 142 separate images make up this 360 degree panorama from the floor of Jezero Crater on Mars. The high-resolution color images were taken by the Perseverance rover's zoomable Mastcam-Z during mission sol 3, also known as February 21, 2021. In the foreground of Mastcam-Z's view is the car-sized rover's deck. Broad light-colored patches in the martian soil just beyond it were scoured by descent stage rocket engines during the rover's dramatic arrival on February 18. The rim of 45 kilometer-wide Jezero Crater rises in the distance. In the coming sols, Perseverance will explore the ancient lake-delta system in the crater, hunting for signs of past microscopic life and collecting samples for potential future return to planet Earth.

NGC 1068

This 2003 composite X-ray (blue and green) and optical (red) image of the active galaxy, NGC 1068, shows gas blowing away in a high-speed wind from the vicinity of a central supermassive black hole. Regions of intense star formation in the inner spiral arms of the galaxy are highlighted by both optical and X-ray emission.

The elongated shape of the gas cloud is thought to be due to the funneling effect of a torus, or doughnut-shaped cloud, of cool gas and dust that surrounds the black hole. The torus, which appears as the elongated white spot in the accompanying 3-color X-ray images, has a mass of about 5 million Suns. Radio observations indicate that the torus extends from within a few light years of the black hole out to about 300 light years.

The X-rays observed from the torus are scattered and reflected X-rays that are probably coming from a hidden disk of hot gas formed as matter swirls very near the black hole. The torus is one source of the gas in the high-speed wind, but the hidden disk may also be involved. X-ray heating of gas further out in the galaxy contributes to the slower, outer parts of the wind.


Image Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/MIT/UCSB/P.Ogle et al.; Optical: NASA/STScI/A.Capetti et al.

Source: www.nasa.gov
A Berber groom kisses his bride at a mass wedding in Taarart, Morocco. Berbers living in rural areas of Morocco carry on cultural traditions that have lasted at least 5,000 years.

On a mission to explore the inner heliosphere and solar corona, on July 11, 2020 the Wide-field Imager on board NASA's Parker Solar Probe captured this stunning view of the nightside of Venus at distance of about 12,400 kilometers (7,693 miles). The spacecraft was making the third of seven gravity-assist flybys of the inner planet. The gravity-asssist flybys are designed to use the approach to Venus to help the probe alter its orbit to ultimately come within 6 million kilometers (4 million miles) of the solar surface in late 2025. A surprising image, the side-looking camera seems to peer through the clouds to show a dark feature near the center known as Aphrodite Terra, the largest highland region on the Venusian surface. The bright rim at the edge of the planet is nightglow likely emitted by excited oxygen atoms recombining into molecules in the upper reaches of the atmosphere. Bright streaks and blemishes throughout the image are likely due to energetic charged particles, and dust near the camera reflecting sunlight. Skygazers from planet Earth probably recognize the familiar stars of Orion's belt and sword at lower right.

Mars' Jezero Crater

This image depicts a possible area through which the Perseverance Mars rover could traverse across Jezero Crater as it investigates several ancient environments that may have once been habitable. The route begins at the cliffs defining the base of a delta produced by a river as it flowed into a lake that once filled the crater. The path then traverses up and across the delta toward possible ancient shoreline deposits, and then climbs the 2,000-foot-high (610-meter-high) crater rim to explore the surrounding plains. About half of this traverse could be completed in Perseverance’s prime mission (one Mars year, or two Earth years). For reference, the prominent crater near the center of the image is about 0.6 miles (1 kilometer) across.

Scientists believe the area was once flooded with water and was home to an ancient river delta. The process of landing site selection involved a combination of mission team members and scientists from around the world, who carefully examined more than 60 candidate locations on the Red Planet. After the exhaustive five-year study of potential sites, each with its own unique characteristics and appeal, Jezero rose to the top.

Jezero Crater tells a story of the on-again, off-again nature of the wet past of Mars.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/USGS

Source: www.nasa.gov
A mountain goat perches on a wall of the Stikine River Grand Canyon in British Columbia, Canada. Mountain goats' unique hooves allow them to travel where their predators—wolves, bears, and cougars—cannot.

It’s always nice to get a new view of an old friend. This stunning Hubble Space Telescope image of nearby spiral galaxy M66 is just that. A spiral galaxy with a small central bar, M66 is a member of the Leo Galaxy Triplet, a group of three galaxies about 30 million light years from us. The Leo Triplet is a popular target for relatively small telescopes, in part because M66 and its galactic companions M65 and NGC 3628 all appear separated by about the angular width of a full moon. The featured image of M66 was taken by Hubble to help investigate the connection between star formation and molecular gas clouds. Clearly visible are bright blue stars, pink ionized hydrogen clouds -- sprinkled all along the outer spiral arms, and dark dust lanes in which more star formation could be hiding.

This is the first high-resolution, color image to be sent back by the Hazard Cameras (Hazcams)

This is the first high-resolution, color image to be sent back by the Hazard Cameras on the underside of NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover after its landing on Feb. 18, 2021.

Video from landing chronicles major milestones during the final minutes of its entry, descent, and landing on the Red Planet, as the spacecraft plummeted, parachuted, and rocketed toward the surface of Mars. A microphone on the rover also has provided the first audio recording of sounds from Mars.

From the moment of parachute inflation, the camera system covers the entirety of the descent process, showing some of the rover’s intense ride to Mars’ Jezero Crater. The footage from high-definition cameras aboard the spacecraft starts 7 miles (11 kilometers) above the surface, showing the supersonic deployment of the most massive parachute ever sent to another world, and ends with the rover’s touchdown in the crater.

Official Mars Perseverance landing video

Images from the Perseverance Mars Rover Feb. 22, 2021 Press Briefing

To see images as they come down from the rover and vote on the favorite of the week, go to: https://go.nasa.gov/perseverance-raw-images

Listen to the sounds of Mars and other audio from NASA.

A key objective for Perseverance’s mission on Mars is astrobiology, including the search for signs of ancient microbial life. The rover will characterize the planet’s geology and past climate, pave the way for human exploration of the Red Planet, and be the first mission to collect and cache Martian rock and regolith (broken rock and dust).

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Source: www.nasa.gov
Uygur pilgrims pray at the graves of Islamic saints during the Imam Asim festival near Hotan, Xinjiang Province, China. The Uygur people are a Muslim minority in China, heavily persecuted by the Chinese government.
Alvin Drew

In this image taken on Feb. 28, 2011, NASA astronaut Alvin Drew participates in the STS-133 mission's first spacewalk as construction and maintenance continue on the International Space Station. During the six-hour, 34-minute spacewalk, Drew and NASA astronaut Steve Bowen (out of frame) installed the J612 power extension cable, moved a failed ammonia pump module to the External Stowage Platform 2 on the Quest Airlock for return to Earth at a later date, installed a camera wedge on the right hand truss segment, installed extensions to the mobile transporter rail and exposed the Japanese "Message in a Bottle" experiment to space.

Drew flew on two space shuttle missions, STS-118 (Aug. 8 -21, 2007) and STS-133 (Feb. 24 - March 9, 2011). STS-118 was the 119th space shuttle flight, the 22nd flight to the station, and the 20th flight for Endeavour. During the mission Endeavour's crew successfully added another truss segment, a new gyroscope and external spare parts platform to the space station. STS-133 was the 39th and final mission for Space Shuttle Discovery. During the 13-day flight, the Discovery crew delivered the Permanent Multipurpose Module and the fourth Express Logistics Carrier to the station. The crew also delivered critical spare components including Robonaut 2, or R2, the first human-like robot in space. 

Prior to NASA, Drew was U.S. Air Force pilot with more than 25 years experience. Colonel Drew retired from the Air Force in September 2010. He has more than 3,500 hours flying experience and has piloted 30 different types of aircraft. 

Video: Down to Earth- To the Moon and Beyond. In this is the final episode of Season 1 of Down to Earth, Alvin Drew recounts the wonder of viewing planet Earth from space, and the necessity to keep pushing the bounds of exploration.

View the Black History Month Image Gallery.

Image Credit: NASA

Source: www.nasa.gov
Double-layered tents shelter researchers from wind in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica. As part of an expedition in the mid-1980s, scientists dove in the sound, with water temperatures around 28 degrees Fahrenheit.

What's that on either side of the Moon? Starships. Specifically, they are launch-and-return reusable rockets being developed by SpaceX to lift cargo and eventually humans from the Earth's surface into space. The two rockets pictured are SN9 (Serial Number 9) and SN10 which were captured near their Boca Chica, Texas launchpad last month posing below January's full Wolf Moon. The Starships house liquid-methane engines inside rugged stainless-steel shells. SN9 was test-launched earlier this month and did well with the exception of one internal rocket that failed to relight during powered descent. SN10 continues to undergo ground tests and may be test-launched later this month.

There are fewer than a thousand Seri people in Mexico, meaning their native language is fading fast. Isabel Chavela Torres is blind and almost completely deaf, but she still passes on as much traditional knowledge as she can.

In the heart of the Rosette Nebula lies a bright open cluster of stars that lights up the nebula. The stars of NGC 2244 formed from the surrounding gas only a few million years ago. The featured image taken in January using multiple exposures and very specific colors of Sulfur (shaded red), Hydrogen (green), and Oxygen (blue), captures the central region in tremendous detail. A hot wind of particles streams away from the cluster stars and contributes to an already complex menagerie of gas and dust filaments while slowly evacuating the cluster center. The Rosette Nebula's center measures about 50 light-years across, lies about 5,200 light-years away, and is visible with binoculars towards the constellation of the Unicorn (Monoceros).

At the Lower Geyser Basin in Yellowstone National Park, dead trees create makeshift sun dials. On the horizon, steam from thermal pools is visible.

Slung beneath its rocket powered descent stage Perseverance hangs only a few meters above the martian surface, captured here moments before its February 18 touchdown on the Red Planet. The breath-taking view followed an intense seven minute trip from the top of the martian atmosphere. Part of a high resolution video, the picture was taken from the descent stage itself during the final skycrane landing maneuver. Three taut mechanical cables about 7 meters long are visible lowering Perseverance, along with an electrical umbilical connection feeding signals (like this image), to a computer on board the car-sized rover. Below Perseverance streamers of martian dust are kicked-up from the surface by the descent rocket engines. Immediately after touchdown, the cables were released allowing the descent stage to fly to a safe distance before exhausting its fuel as planned.

NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover team watch in mission control as the first images arrive moments after the craft lands

Members of the Perseverance Mars Rover team watch in mission control at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory as the first images arrive moments after the spacecraft successfully touched down on Mars, Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021. A key objective for Perseverance’s mission on Mars is astrobiology, including the search for signs of ancient microbial life. The rover will characterize the planet’s geology and past climate, pave the way for human exploration of the Red Planet, and be the first mission to collect and cache Martian rock and regolith.

Image Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

Source: www.nasa.gov