100 Best Space Photos of 2012: Gallery

Huge Saturn Vortex Swirls in Stunning NASA Photos


An amazing new photo from NASA's Cassini probe orbiting Saturn has sighted a monster storm raging on the ringed planet's north pole. [Full Story]

Black Marble: Stunning New Images of Earth at Night

NASA Earth Observatory/NOAA NGDC

NASA released a slew of images showing what Earth looks like from space at night. [Full Story]

Most Distant Black Hole X-Ray Blast Discovered

X-ray: NASA/CXC/NRC/C.Cheung et al; Optical: NASA/STScI; Radio: NSF/NRAO/VLA

The most distant X-ray jet ever observed has been discovered some 12.4 billion light years from Earth, giving astronomers a peek at the life of giant black holes not long after the Big Bang. [Full Story]

"Mohawk Guy" Bobak Ferdowsi Reacts to Curiosity Rover's Landing

NASA/Bill Ingalls

Mars Science Laboratory systems engineer Bobak Ferdowsi at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., is seen reacting after the Curiosity rover successfully landed on Mars on Aug. 5, 2012 (PDT; Aug. 6 EDT).

Mars Mountains Look Frosty in New Images

ESA/DLR/FU Berlin (G. Neukum)

A European spacecraft orbiting Mars has snapped wintry-looking pictures of a mountain range on the Red Planet's southern highlands, where ridges and crater floors are dusted with carbon dioxide frost. [Full Story]

Exoplanet Catalog Reveals 7 Possibly Habitable Worlds

PHL @ UPR Arecibo, ESA/Hubble, NASA

The Habitable Exoplanets Catalog has seven candidate planets listed so far, and the pace of discovery is increasing, says its founder. [Full Story]

Curiosity Rover's Hi-Res Self-Portrait

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity used its Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) to snap a set of 55 high-resolution images on Oct. 31, 2012. Researchers stitched the pictures together to create this full-color self-portrait.

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]

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


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]

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Tom Chao
Tom Chao has contributed to SPACE.com as a producer and writer since 2000. As a writer and editor, he has worked for the Voyager Company, Time Inc. New Media, HarperCollins and Worth Publishers. He has a bachelor’s degree in Cinema Production from the University of Southern California, and a master’s degree from NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study. To find out what his latest project is, you can follow Tom on Google+.