Best Space Pictures of the Week - Oct. 13, 2012

Space Shuttle Endeavour's L.A. Street Parade

NASA/Bill Ingalls

The space shuttle Endeavour is seen atop the Over Land Transporter (OLT) after exiting the Los Angeles International Airport on its way to its new home at the California Science Center in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 12, 2012. [Full Photo Gallery]

Birth of Cool: Photographers Catch Brilliant Fetus Nebula

Bob and Janice Fera

A cool blue planetary nebula NGC 7008 appears to be resting peacefully in this night sky photo. [Full Story]

NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

An impact basin spotted on Mercury with two smaller craters above it looks remarkably like Sesame Street's Cookie Monster — at least to the eyes of scientists working on NASA's Messenger mission to the planet. [Full Story]

X-ray: NASA/CXC/RIT/J.Kastner et al.; Optical: NASA/STScI

Amazing pictures of planetary nebulas from the Chandra X-ray observatory. [Full Photo Gallery]

Hunter and Unicorn Shine in Night Sky Photo

Josh Knutson /

The constellations Monoceros and Orion come into stunning focus in this widefield image of the night sky. [Full Story]

Black Glass in New Martian Meteorite

© Natural History Museum, London

The 1.1 kg stone of the Tissint Martian meteorite at the Natural History Museum, London. The stone has a glossy black fusion crust. The fresh interior shows the large yellow/green olivine macrocrysts and pockets of black glass which are characteristic of this shergottite. [Full Photo Gallery]

Queen of the Night: Classy Cassiopeia Constellation Reigns Over Meteor

VegaStar Carpentier

A Perseid meteor blazes through the night sky near the constellation Cassiopeia, a celestial queen, in this eye-popping view. Astrophotographer VegaStar Carpentier took this stunning photo on Aug.11, 2012, in Épernay, Champagne-Ardenne, France. [Full Story]

Photos: Soyuz Rocket Launches Galileo Navigation Satellites


A Russian Soyuz lifts off for the third time from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana on its mission to place the second pair of Galileo In-Orbit Validation satellites into orbit from Kourou, French Guiana, on Oct. 12, 2012.[Full Photo Gallery]

SpaceX Dragon Launches on 1st Space Station Cargo Trip

NASA/Gianni Woods

Space Launch Complex 40 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida is illuminated by a Falcon 9 rocket as it lifts off on Oct. 7, 2012 carrying a Dragon capsule to orbit. [Full Photo Gallery]

Roll Across the Skies

Adam Block/Mount Lemmon SkyCenter/University of Arizona

Adam Block at the Mount Lemmon SkyCenter in Arizona caught Comet 168P Hergenrother on October 5, 2012. [See More Images]

The Owl and the Tree

Paul Zizka Photography

Astrophotographer Paul Zizka sent in this photo of an aurora with a special guest, taken at the Minnewanka boat docks, Banff National Park, Canada, on Oct. 8, 2012. He writes: “When this shot was taken I was perhaps not the most thrilled photographer. It was the second night in a week that I went chasing the auroras all night, and they were hidden somewhere behind a veil of clouds (as you can tell from the surreal sky), even though the rest of the country seemed to be seeing them. It turns out that I was completely unaware that I was taking one of my most memorable shots. This morning I noticed a visitor [had] made his way into the frame, and I could not believe my eyes. The owl is surprisingly sharp in this 5-second exposure. Thanks to the Minnewanka boat docks for lighting the bird perfectly, and to Mother Nature for providing the perfect perch and background.” [See More Images]

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