(Inside Science) -- May brought a plethora of exciting space pictures. From the first test image by the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, to pictures from a survey of nearby galaxies -- and many more -- we've narrowed down our selection to the best images of the month.
This month, the Very Large Telescope in the Atacama Desert of Chile captured the aptly named Tarantula Nebula -- shown here in dusty brown tufts of stellar dust. This nebula spans a length of more than 1,000 light-years, making it one of the most eye-catching features of the Large Magellanic Cloud. This picture captures in incredible detail numerous gas clouds, star clusters and the remnants of supernovae. (ESO)
Over the course of one night this month, the Gemini North telescope on Mauna Kea, Hawaii, took this time-lapse image of the sky conditions over the island. Comprised of about 100 images, the picture shows a cascade of stars over the bright glow of the Kilauea volcanic eruption. To the left of that flare is a greenish glow -- the lights from town of Hilo. (Gemini Observatory/AURA/NSF)
Following the launch of the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite last month, NASA released this image after the satellite completed its first successful lunar flyby on May 17. This is its first test image -- a mere two-second exposure using only one of its four cameras, and showing as much as 200,000 stars near Centaurus, a southern constellation. (NASA/MIT/TESS)
From NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory comes another great image, this time of an isolated neutron star. This neutron star is especially interesting for having no stellar companion, unlike many others, and for being the first lonely neutron star to be found outside of the Milky Way galaxy. Astronomers used data from the Chandra X-ray telescope and the Very Large Telescope to discover this supernova remnant, shown here as a brilliant blue explosion against a background of red stars. (NASA/ESA)
Using the Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers have produced the most complete ultraviolet survey of nearby galaxies yet. The project, called the Legacy ExtraGalactic UV Survey, looked at 50 neighboring galaxies to piece together a more complete picture of star formation processes. Above is a composite image of six of the galaxies: from left to right, UGC 5340, NGC 4258, UGCA 281, NGC 3368, NGC 3627 and NGC 6744. (NASA/ESA/LEGUS)