Best Space Photos of the Week - March 17, 2012

Safe European Home


ESA astronaut André Kuipers of the Netherlands took this photo of Earth while aboard the International Space Station. Looking down on a nighttime Europe, Portugal lies at the right of the image, while Paris lives up to its nickname of “the city of light” as the brightly glowing area at left. Airglow shines above the Earth’s surface. [More Images]

I Want Some New Stars


NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope and the European Space Agency's Herschel mission provides a new view of Orion Nebula. The infrared observations of both spacecraft combine to show fledgling stars hidden in the gas and clouds. Image released on Feb. 29, 2012. [More Images]

Tick-a-tick-a Time Bomb

ESA/Hubble & NASA

The larger of the two stars in the Eta Carinae binary system is a huge and unstable star that is nearing the end of its life. 150 years ago, it emitted huge clouds of matter in a distinctive dumbbell shape, known as the Homunculus Nebula. Eta Carinae is one of the closest stars to Earth that will explode in a supernova in the relatively near future (roughly the next million years). [More Images]

Happy St. Patrick's Day!


It's called the 'Emerald Isle' for good reason: Ireland's landscape, as seen in a NASA satellite image, is covered in lush green grasses and of course, shamrocks. [Full Story]

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