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Vote Now! Top Space Stories of the Week - Dec. 16, 2012

Skywatchers Shoot Stunning Geminid Meteor Shower Photos, Classified Space Plane Launches and Universe's Constant Stays Constant

Mark Ezell

Last week astronomers determined that a fundamental constant of nature has hardly changed, skywatchers were wowed at the Geminid meteor shower and a classified space plane launched on a secret mission. See the top stories of the last week here.

FIRST STOP: Drill Issue Could Threaten Mars Rover Curiosity's Mission

Drill Issue Could Threaten Mars Rover Curiosity's Mission

Rod Pyle / Space.com

As NASA's Mars rover Curiosity prepares to use its rock-boring drill for the first time, engineers are troubleshooting an issue with the power tool that may affect the entire mission. [Full Story]

NEXT: Huge Asteroid to Pass Earth Tonight: How to Watch Online

Huge Asteroid to Pass Earth Tonight: How to Watch Online

NASA

A giant asteroid will make a close flyby of Earth over the next few days, and armchair astronomers can watch all the action live on their computers. [Full Story]

NEXT: Classified Air Force Space Plane Launches on Secret Mission

Classified Air Force Space Plane Launches on Secret Mission

ULA

The Air Force’s classified X-37B space plane launched on the program’s third mission Tuesday (Dec. 11). [Full Story]

NEXT: Newfound Asteroid Buzzes Earth Inside Moon's Orbit

Newfound Asteroid Buzzes Earth Inside Moon's Orbit

Ernesto Guido & Nick Howes, Remanzacco Observatory

A newfound asteroid gave Earth a close shave this morning. [Full Story]

NEXT: North Korea Successfully Launches Satellite: Reports

North Korea Successfully Launches Satellite: Reports

DigitalGlobe via Getty Images

North Korea apparently succeeded in placing a satellite in Earth orbit after a Wednesday morning (Dec. 12) launch that is already drawing condemnation from the United States and other Western nations. [Full Story]

NEXT: Surprise Radio Jets Revealed in Hercules A Galaxy

Surprise Radio Jets Revealed in Hercules A Galaxy

NASA, ESA, S. Baum and C. O'Dea (RIT), R. Perley and W. Cotton (NRAO/AUI/NSF), and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

An amazing new radio image of elliptical galaxy Hercules A reveals two gigantic cosmic jets shooting from its center. [Full Story]

NEXT: Ancient Galaxy May Be Most Distant Ever Seen

Ancient Galaxy May Be Most Distant Ever Seen

NASA, ESA, R. Ellis (Caltech), and the UDF 2012 Team

An ancient galaxy spotted by the Hubble Space Telescope may be the most distant ever seen. [Full Story]

NEXT: Phew! Universe's Constant Has Stayed Constant

Phew! Universe's Constant Has Stayed Constant

Paul Jansen

By peering at alcohol molecules in a distant galaxy, astronomers have determined that a fundamental constant of nature has hardly changed at all over the age of the universe. [Full Story]

NEXT: Twin NASA Probes Readying for Monday Moon Crash

Twin NASA Probes Readying for Monday Moon Crash

NASA/JPL-Caltech

New details about where on the moon NASA will intentionally crash its twin Grail probes this coming Monday (Dec. 17). [Full Story]

NEXT: Stunning Geminid Meteor Shower Wows Skywatchers: Photos

Stunning Geminid Meteor Shower Wows Skywatchers: Photos

Mark Ezell

A wrap up of the Geminid meteor shower with skywatcher photos. [Full Story]

NEXT: Men Were Last on Moon 40 Years Ago Today

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