Best Space Photos of the Week - Feb. 2, 2013

Sun Grows Super-Hot 'Dragon Tail' in Amazing NASA Video

NASA/SDO

A NASA spacecraft studying the sun has recorded amazing video of a giant plume of super-hot plasma erupting from the star's surface, only to crash back down hours later. [Full Story]

Astronaut's Amazing Photos of Earth From Space

Chris Hadfield/@ Cmdr_Hadfield

Canadian Astronaut Chris Hadfield took these stunning photos of Earth from space. [Full Photo Gallery]

Launch Photos: NASA's TDRS-K Communications Satellite Blasts Off

NASA/Tony Gray

The United Launch Alliance Atlas V 401 rocket carrying NASA's Tracking and Data Relay Satellite-K, TDRS-K, streaks past the Vehicle Assembly Building and Launch Complex 39 at Kennedy Space Center in Florida after launching from Space Launch Complex 41 at 8:48 p.m. EST on Jan. 30, 2013. [Full Photo Gallery]

Mars, Saturn and Star Shine Over India

Ajay Talwar / The World at Night

Mars, Saturn and the star Spica shine brightly over towering Sikh house of worship Gurdwara Bangla Sahib—originally the historic home of astronomer Raja Jai Singh located in downtown Delhi, India. [Full Story]

Spectacular Star Trails Dazzle Over Jordan Desert

Bashar Alaeddin

Dazzling star trails appear to spin over the Wadi Rum desert in this beautiful night sky photo. [Full Story]

Pioneering Animals in Space

NASA

A look at a few of the animals that paved the way for humans in space. [Full Photo Gallery]

Lightning Flash from Severe Storms Seen from Space

NASA/NOAA

A line of severe storms, reaching from Pittsburgh to the Gulf Coast, swept its way across the eastern United States. [Full Story]

Cyclone's 'Overshooting Cloud Tops' Seen from Above

William Straka, UWM/NASA/NOAA

Tropical Cyclone Felleng was caught in a NASA satellite image exhibiting "overshooting cloud tops," a clear sign that it is packing powerful storms. [Full Story]

Evolution of Solar Sails for Space Travel

L’Garde

On Earth, sails tap the wind's power to push ships across oceans. In space, solar sails use the sun's light to fly through space. See how solar sail technology has come of age in the 21st century in this gallery of actual space missions and potential future exploration. [Full Photo Gallery]

I've Got the Munchies in Space

Chris Hadfield (via Twitter @Cmdr_Hadfield)

Commander Chris Hadfield, aboard the International Space Station, tweeted this image on Jan. 11, 2013. He wrote: "Variety is the Spice - corn chip, salsa, mushroom pate and jalapeno, floating weightless. pic.twitter.com/D5DukgOa." [See More Images]

See the World Spinning 'Round

ESO/F. Char

One of the Unit Telescopes of ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) stands beneath bright star trails appearing to circle the south celestial pole, lying in the southern constellation of Octans (The Octant). Many exposures were taken over time and combined to give the final appearance of circular tracks. Four Unit Telescopes (UTs) make up the VLT at Paranal, Chile. Each UT possesses a name in the language of the native Mapuche tribe. The names of the UTs — Antu, Kueyen, Melipal, and Yepun — represent celestial objects: the sun, moon, the Southern Cross constellation and Venus, respectively. The UT in this photograph is Yepun, also known as UT4. Image released Jan. 7, 2013. [See More Images]

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