The solar eclipse in Antarctica captured from the DSCOVR spacecraft on December 4. NASA
2021 was quite the year for space exploration. It kicked off in February when NASA successfully landed its Perseverance Rover at Mars’ Jezero crater, allowing researchers the best chance yet to search for signs of ancient life on the Red Planet. Over the summer, space companies Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic launched private citizens into low Earth orbit. And on Christmas morning, NASA successfully launched the James Webb Space Telescope—the largest space telescope of all time. Here are the best images of space from a truly extraordinary year for cosmic exploration.
is the Science Editor at Popular Science. She has a particular interest in brain science, the microbiome, and human physiology. In addition to Popular Science, her work has appeared in The New York Times, Scientific American, and Scholastic’s Science World and Super Science magazines, among others. She has a bachelor’s degree in neurobiology from the University of California, Davis and a master’s in science journalism from New York University's Science, Health, and Environmental Reporting Program. Contact the author here.