Best Space Photos of the Week - May 6, 2012

Supermoon 2012 Photos: Big Full Moon Views from Around the World

Tim McCord

The supermoon of 2012 rises over Entiat, Wash., in this photo by skywatcher Tim McCord snapped on May 5, 2012. [Full Photo Gallery]

USAF Launches New AEHF 2 Satellite

Pat Corkery, United Launch Alliance

A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket blasts off with the U.S. Air Force’s Advanced Extremely High Frequency-2 (AEHF-2) satellite from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., at 2:42 p.m. EDT on May 4, 2012. [Full Photo Gallery]

Contemplating the Night Sky: Young Skywatchers Admire Venus, Moon & Jupiter

Stephano De Rosa

Three little skywatchers look on in wonder as they witness the recent conjunction between Jupiter, Venus and the Moon. The image was taken by Stefano De Rosa from Turin, Italy on March 25. [Full Story]


A step-by-step photo look at how SpaceX's inaugural flight to the International Space Station will work. [Full Photo Gallery]

Black Hole Unleashes Extraordinarily Bright X-Ray Burst

Left image - Optical: ESO/VLT; Close-up - X-ray: NASA/CXC/Curtin University/R. Soria et al., Optical: NASA/STScI/Middlebury College/F. Winkler et al.

NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory has discovered an extraordinary outburst by a black hole in the spiral galaxy M83, located about 15 million light years from Earth. [Full Story]

Spectacular Photo Reveals Bright Nebula Near Orion's Belt

ESO/APEX (MPIfR/ESO/OSO)/T. Stanke et al./Igor Chekalin/Digitized Sky Survey 2

A new image of the region surrounding the reflection nebula Messier 78, just to the north of Orion’s Belt, shows clouds of cosmic dust threaded through the nebula like a string of pearls. [Full Story]

Photos: Visiting Death Valley With Mars Rover Curiosity Crew

Mike Wall/

Photos of reporter Mike Wall's recent trip to Death Valley with the lead scientist for NASA's Curiosity Mars rover. [Full Photo Gallery]

Rubber Chicken Survives High-Flying Trip Through Solar Storm

Earth to Sky — Bishop, CA

Last month, when the sun unleashed the most intense radiation storm since 2003, a group of high school students from California launched a rubber chicken on a helium balloon to an altitude of 120,000 feet to study the sun's radiation. [Full Story]

Star Trek Fans to Launch Kirk & Picard to Edge of Space

Logan Kugler

A group of Trekkies has united to launch Captain Kirk and Captain Picard--their action figures, that is--into space in a high-altitude balloon. [Full Story]

Amazing Photos of 2 Saturn Moons Snapped by Cassini Probe

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

NASA's Cassini spacecraft took some spectacular photos of the Saturn moons Dione and Enceladus earlier this week. [Full Story]

© Mark A. Garlick / of Warwick

In this artist's impression, the host star is running out of hydrogen in the core. It is also losing mass, which causes the planets to move further out. The perturbation of the orbits may lead to collisions that will generate large amounts of rocky debris.[Full Photo Gallery]

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