Best Space Photos of the Week - Sept. 3, 2011

Space Sunrises, Galaxies, Mars Lakes & More

Ron Garan (via Twitter as @Astro_Ron)

This week, we saw stunning views of Earth from space, dazzling photos of Saturn's moon Hyperion and more space imagery than you can shake a stick at.

Take a look at some of the best photos from space in the past seven days:

Saturn's Odd Pockmarked Moon

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

NASA's Cassini spacecraft has captured new photos of Saturn's ugly-duckling moon Hyperion that show its cratered surface up close.Closeup view of Hyperion taken by NASA's Cassini spacecraft on Aug. 25, 2011.

The pictures come from Cassini's Aug. 25 flyby of the Saturn moon Hyperion. The pass, the spacecraft's second closest encounter with the moon, brought Cassini within about 15,500 miles (25,000 kilometers) of Hyperion’s surface. [Full Story]

Hubble Videos Show Baby Stars & Violent Jets

NASA, ESA, and P. Hartigan (Rice University)

New details about the violent birth of new stars are revealed in a series of movies compiled from 14 years' worth of Hubble Space Telescope observations.

The videos, released Aug. 31, stitch together pictures of nascent stars at various periods to present continuous-motion views of how stars are born. They reveal, in particular, how high-speed jets from baby stars can spew out matter in two beams that fizzle out over time. [Full Story]

'Exotic Galaxy' With Black Hole Heart Wows Astronomers


A strange, newfound galaxy may help astronomers figure out how black holes and star formation evolved in the early universe, according to a new study.

The spiral galaxy, dubbed Speca, boasts fast-moving jets of particles rushing from its center, a phenomenon more commonly observed in elliptical galaxies. In fact, Speca is just the second spiral known to have such jets. [Full Story]

Satellite Sees Burning Man Festival From Space


The annual Burning Man festival is in full swing in the Nevada desert, and a tiny European satellite has snapped an overhead shot of the eccentric action.

The European Space Agency's Proba-1 microsatellite took a photo of Burning Man on Thursday (Sept. 1) from an altitude of about 373 miles (600 kilometers). The picture shows campers and tents massed for the annual gathering, which attracts 50,000 people to the Black Rock Desert 120 miles (193 km) north of Reno. [Full Story]

Rare View of Ancient Mars Lake Remains Seen By Satellite

ESA/DLR/FU Berlin (G. Neukum)

A satellite orbiting Mars has discovered evidence that a giant crater was once a water-filled lake, scientists announced Friday (Sept. 2).

The rare find in Eberswalde Crater was revealed by the presence of a delta, where flowing water has deposited sediment in a characteristic fan shape. [Full Story]

Ginormous Black Hole Caught Eating Another

X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO/G.Fabbiano et al; Optical: NASA/STScI

A monstrous black hole at the heart of one galaxy is being devoured by a still larger black hole in another, scientists say. The discovery is the first of its kind and was announced on Wednesday, Aug. 31. [Full Story]

Ice Ice Baby

ESA/DLR/FU Berlin (G. Neukum)

The Mars Express High-Resolution Stereo Camera captured this image on 17 May 2010 (though it was only released recently), showing a part of the northern polar region of Mars at the northern hemisphere summer solstice. At this point in the Martian year all of the carbon dioxide ice has warmed and evaporated into the planet’s atmosphere. Only water ice is left behind, which shows up as bright white areas in this picture. [See the full daily space photos gallery]

Jupiter Probe Snaps Family Photo of Earth & Moon


A NASA probe headed to Jupiter has snapped a striking photo of Earth and the moon, showing our home planet as it appears from 6 million miles away.

The Juno spacecraft took the new photo on Aug. 26 as part of a test of its camera imaging system called JunoCam. The result: a parting shot of the Earth-moon system as the probe sails on its five-year trip to Jupiter. [Full Story]

Hurricane Katia Spotted from Space


Hurricane Katia can't seem to decide what it wants to be — after becoming a hurricane on Wednesday night (Aug. 31) it then dropped back down to tropical storm strength, but has since climbed back up to Category 1 hurricane status. [Full Story]

Sunrise Over Buenos Aires

Ron Garan

On Saturday, August 27, 2011, Astronaut Ron Garan pointed his HD camera at the rising sun as the International Space Station flew along a path between Rio de Janeiro in Brazil & Buenos Aires in Argentina. The choice of location was made by an online vote. [See the full daily space photos gallery]

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News and editorial team is the premier source of space exploration, innovation and astronomy news, chronicling (and celebrating) humanity's ongoing expansion across the final frontier. Originally founded in 1999, is, and always has been, the passion of writers and editors who are space fans and also trained journalists. Our current news team consists of Editor-in-Chief Tariq Malik; Editor Hanneke Weitering, Senior Space Writer Mike Wall; Senior Writer Meghan Bartels; Senior Writer Chelsea Gohd, Senior Writer Tereza Pultarova and Staff Writer Alexander Cox, focusing on e-commerce. Senior Producer Steve Spaleta oversees our space videos, with Diana Whitcroft as our Social Media Editor.