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Best Space Pictures of the Week - Nov. 17, 2012

Hot Air Balloon Cairns

A total solar eclipse was visible from the Northern tip of Australia on Nov. 13, 2012. [Full Photo Gallery]

Leonid Meteor Shower 2012: Jason Hatfield

Jason Hatfield

Photographer Jason Hatfield ventured to a little-known spot at the Paint Mines just outside Colorado Springs, Colo., to capture this stunning view of a meteor during the peak of the 2012 Leonid meteor shower on Nov. 17 and 18.

[More Amazing Leonid Meteor Shower Photos]

Farthest Known Galaxy in the Universe Discovered

NASA, ESA, and M. Postman and D. Coe (STScI) and CLASH Team

Astronomers have discovered a candidate for the farthest galaxy yet found in our universe, a galaxy 13.3 billion light years from Earth that formed just 420 million years after the Big Bang. [Full Story]

NASA's SEV: Spacecraft For Asteroid Missions Revealed (Photos)

Clara Moskowitz/SPACE.com

Photos of NASA’s prototype Space Exploration Vehicle (SEV) at Johnson Space Center in Houston. [Full Photo Gallery]

Star Cluster Near Orion Nebula Revealed in Telescope Views

© CFHT/Coelum (J.-C. Cuillandre & G. Anselmi)

A star cluster once thought to be part of the spectacular Orion Nebula is actually a separate celestial entity parked in front of the nebula, a new study reveals. [Full Story]

Moon and Mars Shine Over Stunning Skyline

Tunc Tezel / The World at Night

The bright lights and flaming towers of the city of Baku share the spotlight with a stunning crescent moon, Mars and the bright star Antares in this night sky photo. [Full Story]

Amazing Auroras: Northern Lights of November 2012 (Photos)

Guy Strong

Astrophotographer Guy Strong made a time-lapse video of the northern lights in the Northern Lower Peninsula of Michigan on the evening of Nov. 13-14, 2012. [Full Photo Gallery]

The Color Purple

Herschel: Q. Nguyen Luong & F. Motte, HOBYS Key Program consortium, Herschel SPIRE/PACS/ESA consortia. XMM-Newton: ESA/XMM-Newton

Supernova remnant W44 glows in space, seen here as the vast purple sphere on the left side of this image. W44 measures about 100 light-years across. This new image combines data from ESA's Herschel and XMM-Newton space observatories. [See More Images]

That Wishful Wishing Well

ESO/B. Tafreshi

The sky over ESO’s Paranal Observatory in Chile’s Atacama Desert holds a dazzling array of celestial objects. The Carina Nebula glows most intensely red in the middle of the image. The nebula is the brightest of its kind in the sky and contains several of the most massive stars in the Milky Way, including Eta Carinae. Below Carina Nebula lies the Wishing Well Cluster (NGC 3532), and to the right Lambda Centauri Nebula (IC 2944), nicknamed the "Running Chicken" Nebula. Three of the four Auxiliary Telescopes of the Very Large Telescope Interferometer stand in the foreground. [See More Images]

Time for Flying Rockets

ESA/CNES/Arianespace

An Ariane 5 rocket launched from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana with two telecommunications satellites, Eutelsat 21B and Star One C3, on November 10, 2012. Flight VA210 represented Ariane 5’s 52nd successful launch since December 2002. [See More Images]

6-Minute NASA Rocket Launch Tracks Solar 'Nanoflares'

NASA/S. Christe

NASA scientists launched a small telescope into space this month to study faint flares on the sun. But there's a twist: The mission took less time than it takes to hard-boil an egg. [Full Story]

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