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Best Space Pictures of the Week - Dec. 29, 2012

Say Cheese! Mars Rover Curiosity Snaps Amazing Self-Portrait

NASA / JPL-Caltech

Curiosity took a self portrait a little while back, and this is the newest high def mosaic. [Full Story]

Black Marble: Amazing Earth at Night Photos from Space

NOAA/NASA/SuomiNPP

This image of North and South America at night is a composite assembled from data acquired by the Suomi NPP satellite in April and October 2012. [Full Image Gallery]

Incredible NASA Photos Show Saturn's Rings and Clouds

NASA / JPL-Caltech / Space Science Institute

NASA just released two new photos of Saturn and a couple of its moons. [Full Story]

New Mars Photo Christens Deep-Space Antenna

ESA

Europe's newest deep-space tracking station has received its first interplanetary message: a photo of a half-lit Mars as seen by an orbiting spacecraft. Full Story]

Spectacular Star Trails Arc Over Himalayan Peak (Photo)

Ajay Talwar / The World at Night

A skywatcher caught this amazing photo of star trails above the towering Himalayas. [Full Story]

Japan's Hayabusa2 Asteroid-Sampling Mission (Photos)

JAXA/Akihiro Ikeshita

An artist's illustration of Japan's Hayabusa2 spacecraft arriving at asteroid 1999 JU3 in 2018. The mission launches in 2014 to collect samples of the asteroid and return them to Earth. [Full Image Gallery]

Massive Star Makes Waves

NASA/ JPL-Caltech

The giant star Zeta Ophiuchi is having a "shocking" effect on the surrounding dust clouds in this infrared image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. [View Image]

As the World Rolls ‘Round

ESO/B. Tafreshi/TWAN

A long camera exposure of the night sky over the Chajnantor Plateau in the Chilean Andes appears to stretch the stars of the Milky Way into graceful arcs. This photo shows the sky above the Chajnantor Plateau, home of the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) telescope, in the foreground. APEX is a pathfinder for the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), a telescope that ESO will complete building in 2013. Image released Dec. 10, 2012. [See More Images]

Another Galaxy

ESA/Hubble & NASA

Galaxy ESO 318-13 lies millions of light-years from Earth, but Hubble Space Telescope shows it with remarkable clarity in this image. The bright star that appears to shine from within the galaxy actually belongs to our galaxy, the Milky Way, and sits much closer to us than ESO 318-13. Other galaxies appear as tiny discs throughout the photograph. A distant spiral galaxy clearly shines through ESO 318-13 at the right hand side of the image. [See More Images]

We Could Burn Like the Northern Lights

AuroraMax/Canadian Space Agency

The Canadian Space Agency's AuroraMAX automated camera photographed this aurora over Yellowknife on December 2, 2012. [See More Images]

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