Vote Now! Top Space Stories of the Week - Jan. 20, 2013

Columbia’s Tragic Mission, Mona Lisa on the Moon and More

NASA

Last week we remembered Space Shuttle Columbia’s tragic mission 10 years ago, astronomers predicted what the first pictures of a black hole will look like and researchers beamed a photo of the Mona Lisa to NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter with a laser. See the top stories of the last week here.

FIRST STOP: NASA's 'Mohawk Guy' to March in Obama's Inaugural Parade

NASA's 'Mohawk Guy' to March in Obama's Inaugural Parade

NASA/Bill Ingalls

A run down of NASA’s plans for the Presidential Inauguration on Monday. [Full Story]

NEXT: NASA's Donated Spy Telescopes May Aid Dark Energy Search

NASA, ESA, E. Jullo (JPL/LAM), P. Natarajan (Yale) and J-P. Kneib (LAM)

NASA will provide an update on the NRO spy telescopes donated to NASA and their potential use with the next-generation WFIRST Space Telescope project. [Full Story]

NEXT: 'Mars Flower' Photo Puzzles Scientists

'Mars Flower' Photo Puzzles Scientists

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems

An odd flower-like feature spotted on Mars by NASA's Curiosity rover continues to perplex researchers, who nevertheless stress that its origins are not biological. [Full Story]

NEXT: What Will First Photos of Black Holes Look Like?

What Will First Photos of Black Holes Look Like?

Kamruddin/Dexter

A giant black hole is thought to lurk at the center of the Milky Way, but it has never been directly seen. Now astronomers have predicted what the first pictures of this black hole will look like when taken with technology soon to be available. [Full Story]

NEXT: Scientist Proposes to Girlfriend in Amazing Northern Lights Time-Lapse Video

Scientist Proposes to Girlfriend in Amazing Northern Lights Time-Lapse Video

Alex Rivest

Dazzling green, purple and turquoise auroras glimmer in the sky over Iceland while a man proposes to his girlfriend in a new time-lapse video. Neuroscientist Alex Rivest shot the amazing aurora time-lapse video in September 2012. [Full Story]

NEXT: NASA Beams Mona Lisa to Moon with Laser

NASA Beams Mona Lisa to Moon with Laser

Xiaoli Sun, NASA Goddard

NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter is the first spacecraft to use laser-based one-way communication. Researchers beamed a photo of the Mona Lisa to the orbiter with a laser. [Full Story]

NEXT: 'Planetary Parks' Could Protect Space Wilderness

'Planetary Parks' Could Protect Space Wilderness

And as robotic surrogates set the stage for human footprints on distant planetary bodies, just how much respect for other worlds should we have? [Full Story]

NEXT: Space Shuttle Columbia Launched on Tragic Mission 10 Years Ago

Space Shuttle Columbia Launched on Tragic Mission 10 Years Ago

NASA

NASA's space shuttle Columbia blasted off 10 years ago today (Jan. 16) on a mission that turned out to be the last for the orbiter and its seven-astronaut crew. [Full Story]

NEXT: NASA-European Partnership on Deep-Space Capsule a First

NASA-European Partnership on Deep-Space Capsule a First

NASA

For the first time, NASA is reaching out to a foreign space agency - the European Space Agency - for help building a vehicle to launch people to space. [Full Story]

NEXT: Right Again, Einstein! New Study Supports 'Cosmological Constant'

Right Again, Einstein! New Study Supports 'Cosmological Constant'

NASA, ESA, E. Jullo (JPL/LAM), P. Natarajan (Yale) and J-P. Kneib (LAM)

Recent measurements of one of the universe’s fundamental constants cast doubt on a popular theory explaining dark energy, scientists say. [Full Story]

NEXT: Inside NASA's Deal for an Inflatable Space Station Room

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