The object in these images may look like a bright star, but it is in fact our Moon, as seen by the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope.
The Fermi science team have been observing our planet’s satellite to study cosmic rays: charged particles generated by violent phenomena such as exploding stars.
While the top left image shows the scale of the Moon in optical light, the following sequence of images show how cosmic rays hit the lunar surface to produce a gamma ray glow, seen in exposures ranging from 2 months (second from top left) to 128 months (bottom right).
At these energies, our Moon is brighter than the Sun.
Credit: NASA/DOE/Fermi LAT Collaboration