Best Space Pictures of the Week - Sept. 15, 2012

Dazzling Army Missile Test Triggers UFO Reports in Western US

Ryan Eiger

A spectacular U.S. Army missile test from New Mexico Thursday (Sept. 13) lit up the predawn sky over the Southwestern United States, triggering a flood of frantic UFO reports and hundreds of calls to military officials from as far away as Denver and Los Angeles. [Full Story]

Satellite Gets Bird's-Eye Shot of Guatemala Volcano Erupting

NASA Earth Observatory

When Guatemala's Fuego volcano erupted yesterday afternoon (Sept. 13), a NASA satellite had a bird's-eye view on the spectacle. [Full Story]

Spectacular Northern Lights Photos: September 2012

Ole Salomonsen (

The northern lights, supercharged by a recent solar storm, dance above Naimakka, Finland, in this shot snapped on Sept. 4, 2012, by Ole Salomonsen.[Full Photo Gallery]

Istanbul Glows at Night in Astronaut Photo


The two halves of bustling city where East meets West shine brightly in a photo taken by an astronaut aboard the International Space Station on Aug. 9. [Full Story]

Amazing Night Sky Photos of Venus, Moon & More (Sept. 2012)

Linda & Dr. Dick Buscher

Linda & Dr. Dick Buscher caught the contrail from a missile launch from Fort Wingate, NM, at their location in Anthem, AZ, at the north edge of Phoenix, 5:41 am on September 13, 2012. [Full Photo Gallery]

Mars Rover Curiosity Snaps Amazing Hi-Res Self Portraits (Photos)

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity is doing a bit of mechanical navel-gazing on the Red Planet, snapping ultra-clear pictures of itself while testing a powerful camera at the tip of its robotic arm. [Full Story]

Air Force Launches Secret Spy Satellite NROL-36 (Photos)

Pat Corkery/United Launch Alliance

An Atlas 5 rocket ascends toward space carrying the classified NROL-36 satellite and 11 small science cubesats on Sept. 13, 2012, in a flight from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. [Full Photo Gallery]

Celebrating Neil Armstrong: Memorial Service at National Cathedral (Photos)

NASA/Bill Ingalls

Apollo 17 mission commander Gene Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon, speaks during a memorial service celebrating the life of Neil Armstrong at the Washington National Cathedral, Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012. Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon during the 1969 Apollo 11 mission, died Saturday, Aug. 25. He was 82. [Full Photo Gallery]

Hubble Telescope Captures Blazing Heart of Huge Star Cluster


The Hubble space telescope has snapped a stunning picture of the middle of a huge globular cluster. [Full Story]

Spiral Triangulum Galaxy Shines in Stargazer's Photo

Amir Hossein Abolfath

The Triangulum galaxy shines millions of light-years from Earth in this stunning night sky photo. [Full Story]

Explosion on Jupiter Spotted by Amateur Astronomers

George Hall/George's Astrophotography

An apparent impact on Jupiter early Monday (Sept. 10) created a fireball on the planet so large and bright that amateur astronomers on Earth spotted the flash. [Full Story]

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at: Staff
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.