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Best Space Pictures of the Week - Oct. 28, 2012

'Frankenstorm' from Space: Hurricane Sandy Satellite Photos

NOAA

NOAA's GOES East satellite snapped this image of Hurricane Sandy at 10:45 a.m. EDT (1445 UTC) on Oct. 24, 2012, as it was headed for landfall on Jamaica. [Full Photo Gallery]

Orionid Meteor Shower Wows Weekend Stargazers

Tommy Eliassen

The Orionid meteor shower peaked Sunday (Oct. 21), amazing stargazers around the world with its celestial fireworks. The Orionids are one of two "shooting star" displays created by bits of Halley's Comet. [Full Story]

Sun's Plasma Loops Shine as Art in NASA Video Technique

NASA/A. Young

Gradient filters to boost contrast in photos aren't just for photographers anymore. Astronomers are using them to take a better look at our sun, too. [Full Story]

The Milky Way's Core (Photos)

ESO/VVV Consortium; Acknowledgement: Ignacio Toledo

This view of the central parts of the Milky Way was obtained with the VISTA survey telescope at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in Chile. The huge picture contains nearly nine billion pixels and was created by combining thousands of individual infrared images from VISTA into a single monumental mosaic. The image is too large to be easily displayed at full resolution. [Full Photo Gallery]

Amazing Solar Flare of Oct. 22, 2012 (Photos)

NASA/SDO

NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory satellite captured this photo of the X-class solar flare unleashed from the sun Oct. 22, 2012. [Full Photo Gallery]

Planetfall: Wonders of the Solar System (Photos)

Image Science and Analysis Laboratory, NASA JSC/Michael Benson/Kinetikon Pictures. © All rights reserved.

Sunset on the Pacific as seen from the International Space Station at an altitude of 235 miles. ISS 007 crew, July 21, 2003. [Full Photo Gallery]

Canadian Space Man: Astronaut Chris Hadfield's World Tour Challenge

Comicon de Montréal 2012

‘Star Trek’ star William Shatner poses with a 2-D image of Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield as part of a photo contest run by the Canadian Space Agency to promote the spaceflyer’s upcoming mission. Hadfield launches to the space station in December 2012 and will be Canada's first space station commander when he takes charge. [Full Photo Gallery]

From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea

Michael Humpherson/www.tojustbe.co.uk

Astrophotographer Michael Humpherson caught an Orionid meteor on Panther Beach, just north of Santa Cruz, CA, on Oct. 24, 2012. He writes: "I was setting [up] for a few shots of the Milky Way on the beach — the moon was still too high — [and] was seeing how they came out when the asteroid came blasting in above me ... I caught the start of it, and the sea turning almost green with the light as it exploded."[See More Images]

Soyuz Rocket Launches New Expedition 33 Crew to Space Station

NASA/Bill Ingalls

Members of the media photograph the Soyuz rocket as it launches with Expedition 33/34 crew members on Oct. 23, 2012. [Full Photo Gallery]

Corona Light

NASA GSFC/Michael Benson/Kinetikon Pictures. © All rights reserved.

The just-released book "Planetfall: New Solar System Visions" by Michael Benson (Abrams) showcases spectacular space vistas. This photo by the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) displays the solar corona and magnetic loops during an eclipse of the sun by the Earth. The edge of the Earth does not appear perfectly sharp because some light filters through the Earth’s atmosphere, which varies in density. Image obtained April 2, 2011. [See More Images]

Give It a Whirl

Jason Hullinger

Astrophotographer Jason Hullinger took some shots of the Orionid meteor shower in Red Canyon State Park, CA near Mojave/California City, Oct. 21, 2012. This image of star trails includes about 40 minutes of exposures. Two meteors appear at the right side. [See More Images]

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