Space is a vast expanse of mysteries that humans have only just begun to explore. Thanks to NASA, and images from Hubble, Juno, Cassini and more, we are able to get some awe-inspiring glimpses into the wonders of our universe that seriously put things into perspective for those of us on lil ol’ earth! Read on to see some of the most amazing photos to prepare you for eventual life on Mars.
Space Shuttle Endeavor
It all starts by getting there. In this 2011 NASA photo, the space shuttle Endeavor rises above the Florida clouds and into orbit in its last journey to space.
Two of Saturn’s rings (A and F) and two of its moons (Epimetheus and Titan) were shot stunningly by Cassini. Looming hazily in the background, Titan is believed to be capable of supporting life.
The Ring Nebula Stares Down Hubble
From the Hubble Legacy Archive comes this beautiful shot of M57, known as the Ring Nebula. M57 seems to be looking right back like a fiery Eye of Sauron.
Curiosity About Dunes
The Mars rover Curiosity traveled the red planet to snap this photo of enormous rippling sand dunes located in the Martian Bagnold Dune Field.
Storms on Jupiter
Jupiter’s south pole is swirling with hurricanes, each about as large as our own planet. The beautiful photo was captured by the Juno spacecraft from an altitude of about 32,000 miles.
Jupiter’s Impressionist Art
The Juno spacecraft also took this stunning photo and Rick Lunde processed it with an oil painting filter, resulting in this Starry Night style vision of Jupiter’s atmospheric bands.
VISTA & Hubble Team Up
This gorgeous pictures is a composite of images captured by the Hubble Telescope in space and VISTA telescope on land. It depicts the Horsehead Nebula, the birthplace of the young stars.
Cassini’s Shot of Saturn’s Moon
NASA’s Cassini Imaging Team got this photo Saturn’s moon icy Enceladus. The lines on the left, known as “tiger stripes” are actually spewing ice particles over the surface, which form into a cloud over Enceladus’ south pole.
Tesla In Space
Elon Musk brought two of his companies together for this amazing shot. His red Tesla Roadster was put into orbit by SpaceX, ‘driven’ by a demo version of a their planned spacesuit.
Hubble Catches a Tadpole
In 1999, Hubble captured this shot of the UGC 10214, better known as Tadpole because of its shape.
The Pluto Formerly Known as Planet
In 2015, the New Horizons craft took its initial flyby of the dwarf planet Pluto. This photo shows a sea of frozen nitrogen which NASA believes to be fresh, showing Pluto is still geologically active.
NASA released a series of “Night Lights” images of our own planet. Here you can see the US East Coast quite clearly, as well as outlines of the West Coast and South America.
In 2013, China’s landing module, Chang’e-3, and the rover, Yutu, which translates to “Jade Rabbit” explored Earth’s moon for three months, before Yutu was damaged by the extreme cold of the two-week lunar night.
The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter HiRISE camera shot a photo of a massive crater, more than half a mile wide, which NASA believes to be the result of a ‘recent’ impact.
The Death Star
Tethys, nicknamed “The Death Star,” is one of Saturn’s 62 confirmed moons. Its distinctive shape comes from an impact crater covering five percent of the moon’s total surface.
An Asteroid With Its Own Moon
This is a photograph of asteroid 243 Ida and its moon Dactyl, discovered in 1993 by Galileo, which was on its way to Jupiter at the time.
Red Planet Blues
NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter took this picture of the Nili Fossae region on the northwest rim of Isidis impact basin, where Mars’ bedrock is exposed.
The planets, moons and galaxies are amazing to see, but nothing quite captures the wonders of space like the untethered drifting figure. That astronaut is Bruce McCandless II, photographed from the Space Shuttle Challenger in 1984.