Best Space Pictures of the Week - July 22, 2012

Spectacular Northern Lights Pictures from July Solar Storm

Paul Zizka Photography/

Night sky watcher Paul Zizka caught the aurora on July 15, 2012, at the Waputik Icefield in the Canadian Rockies. [Full Photo Gallery]

Hubble Telescope Finds Needle Galaxy in Celestial Haystack


A stunning new photograph by the Hubble Space Telescope has captured the cosmic version of a needle in a haystack: an edge-on spiral galaxy much like our own Milky Way. [Full Story]

Multi-Telescope View of Giant Black Hole Is 2 Million Times Sharper than Human Eye

ESO/M. Kornmesser

Telescopes in Chile, Airzona and Hawaii have captured the best view ever of a giant black hole at the center of a galaxy 5 billion light-years from Earth, an spinning beacon in the night known as a quasar. [Full Story]

Photographer Captures Venus' Rare Journey Across a Melting Sun

Tunc Tezel / The World at Night

Venus makes its rare transit across a melting sun in this amazing image captured at sunset by a veteran photographer. [Full Story]

Amazing Southern Lights View from Space Leaves Astronaut Awestruck

NASA/Joe Acaba

Shimmering auroras in the night sky are amazing to behold, but nothing prepared NASA astronaut Joe Acaba for seeing the celestial lights dance over Earth from space. [Full Story]

Daytime Lightning on Saturn Spotted by Cassini Spacecraft


NASA's Cassini spacecraft orbiting Saturn has captured an amazing view of lightning in broad daylight on the ringed planet. [Full Story]

Photos: Space Shuttle Enterprise on Display in NYC

Denise Chow/Tariq Malik/

The new Space Shuttle Pavilion (white domed structure) is visible in the background of this photo of the Intrepid Museum's deck. Photo taken July 18, 2012. [Full Photo Gallery]

So Hold Me, Messier 99, in Your Long Arms

ESA/Hubble & NASA. Acknowledgement: Matej Novak

This Hubble Space Telescope image shows a detailed view of the spiral arms on one side of the galaxy Messier 99. Messier 99 possesses a structure somewhat similar to the Milky Way, with long, large and clearly defined spiral arms. Astronomers refer to such a structure as a grand design spiral. Messier 99 lies around 50 million light-years away in the Virgo Cluster, the closest cluster of galaxies to us. [More Amazing Daily Space Photos]


ESO/R. Gendler & R.M. Hannahoe

A new photo of the Cat's Paw Nebula combines exposures from the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope of the La Silla Observatory in Chile with 60 hours of exposures made by expert amateur astronomers Robert Gendler and Ryan M. Hannahoe. The additional colour information from Gendler and Hannahoe.brings out the faint blue nebulosity in the central region, not seen in the original ESO image. The Cat’s Paw Nebula (NGC 6334) lies in the constellation of Scorpius (The Scorpion). It is relatively near to Earth, about 5500 light-years away. [More Amazing Daily Space Photos]

Milky Way over Mount Shasta

Copyright © 2012 Goldpaint Photography, All Rights Reserved

Veteran night sky photographer Brad Goldpaint took this amazing photo of the Milky Way over Mount Shasta, California, during three years of astronomical photo sessions. The image is featured in Goldpaint's night sky observing video "Within Two Worlds." [Full Story, Gallery and Video]

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