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Best Space Photos of the Week - Jan. 12, 2013

Astronaut Snaps Amazing Photo of Volcanoes from Space

Chris Hadfield

An astronaut living on the International Space Station has captured a spectacular view of Earth's volcanoes as they appear from high above the planet. [Full Story]

Monster Black Hole Burp Surprises Scientists

Minchin et al., NRAO/AUI/NSF (HSA);Travis Rector, Gemini Observatory, AURA (optical).

Astronomers have discovered what appears to be colossal belch from a massive black hole at the heart of a distant galaxy. The outburst was 10 times as bright as the biggest star explosion, scientists say. [Full Story]

NASA's Curiosity Rover Brushes Mars Rock Clean, a First

NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

NASA's Curiosity Mars rover has pulled out another item from its toolkit for the first time, using a brush to sweep dust off rocks, the agency announced today (Jan. 7). [Full Story]

Massive Star Explosion Captured in Stunning Photo

NASA/JPL-Caltech/DSS

The Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array has captured a beautiful new image of the supernova remnant Cassiopeia A, located about 11,000 light years distant from Earth. [Full Story]

Milky Way Galaxy Sparkles Over Mountains in Iran

Amir Abolfath, Torgheh.ir/en

The serene Milky Way galaxy towers over Alamut Valley in Iran in this spectacular night sky photo. Amir H. Abolfath of The World at Night took this stunning photo from the Alborz Mountains of Iran in August 2010. [Full Story]

New 'Bone' in Milky Way Skeleton Discovered

NASA/JPL/SSC

Astronomers have spotted a new component of the Milky Way galaxy's skeleton — a "bone" of dust and gas that contains about as much material as 100,000 suns. [Full Story]

Mysteriously Bright Black Holes Revealed by NASA Telescope

NASA/JPL-Caltech/DSS

A NASA space telescope snapped a new view of two oddball black holes shining ultra-bright in X-ray light in a distant spiral galaxy. NASA’s NuSTAR X-ray observatory spotted the bright black holes while observing the galaxy Caldwell 5. [Full Story]

Potentially Dangerous Asteroid Apophis Bigger Than Thought

ESA/Herschel/PACS/MACH-11/MPE/B.Altieri (ESAC) and C. Kiss (Konkoly Observatory)

A European space telescope has captured new images of the huge asteroid Apophis, revealing that the potentially hazardous object is actually bigger than previously thought — and you have a chance to see the space rock yourself in two free webcasts tonight (Jan. 9). [Full Story]

Venus Shines With Crescent Moon

The serene glow of the pre-dawn sky Thursday (Jan. 10) proved the perfect setting for two stargazers to capture dazzling images of the crescent moon and Venus. [Full Story]

Largest Spiral Galaxy in Universe Revealed

NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/ESO/JPL-Caltech/DSS

Astronomers have crowned the universe's largest known spiral galaxy, a spectacular behemoth five times bigger than our own Milky Way. [Full Story]

Largest Structure in Universe Discovered

ESO/M. Kornmesser

Astronomers have discovered the largest known structure in the universe, a clump of quasars 4 billion light-years wide. [Full Story]

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