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Best Space Photos of the Week - March 10, 2013

Huge Rocket Launch Lights Up Tropical Night Sky (Photo)

ESA/CNES/Arianespace/Optique Video du CSG

A massive European rocket launches into darkening skies over tropical South America in this stunning photo. [Full Story]

Cool Nebula Glows Blue in Stunning Night Sky Photo

Bill Snyder Astrophotography

A cool nebula glows a dazzling blue in an amazing new space photo. Veteran astrophotographer Bill Snyder captured the spectacular photo of NGC 1491. [Full Story]

Digitized Sky Survey (DSS), STScI/AURA, Palomar/Caltech, and UKSTU/AAO

This Digitized Sky Survey image shows the oldest star with a well-determined age in our galaxy. Called the Methuselah star, HD 140283 is 190.1 light-years away. Astronomers refined the star's age to about 14.5 billion years (which is older than the universe), plus or minus 800 million years. [See the full photo gallery]

Comet of the Century? Sun-Grazing Comet ISON Explained (Infographic)

Karl Tate, SPACE.com contributor

Sungrazing comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) makes its closest approach to the sun on Nov. 28; could be a spectacular view from Earth. [Full Story]

Celestial Swan Soars Over Castle Ruins in Amazing Photo

P-M Heden / Clearskies.se / The World at Night

Constellation Cygnus and star Deneb beam brightly above an ancient castle ruin in this beautiful night sky photo by P.M. Heden from Uppasala, Sweden. [Full Story]

NASA Spacecraft Makes 1st Complete Map of Planet Mercury

NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

NASA’s Messenger spacecraft has fully mapped the planet Mercury for the first time, scientists said. [Full Story]

Wow! Rare Photos Capture 2 Comets Together in Night Sky

Yuri Beletsky

Stargazers have captured stunning photos of Comet Pan-STARRS and Lemmon together in the night sky. Yuri Beletsky and Justin Tilbrook took the amazing images. [Full Story]

Hubble Telescope's 'Space Invader' Galaxy Photos

NASA, ESA, and Z. Levay (STScI)

This Hubble Space Telescope image shows the size scale of the "Space Invader" galaxy spotted in the upper left of the frame. The image captures the galaxy cluster Abell 68. [See the full photo gallery]

Amazing Hourglass Nebula Photo Captured by Patient Stargazer

Bill Snyder Astrophotography

Veteran astrophotographer Bill Snyder captured this image on Oct. 13, 2012 from Heavens Mirror Observatory in California's Sierra Nevada Mountains. [Full Story]

NASA Spacecraft Photographs Venus as Seen from Saturn

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

Venus gleams over Saturn's enormous shoulder in two stunning new photos from NASA's Cassini spacecraft, which is orbiting the ringed planet. [Full Story]

Stargazers Snap Spectacular View of Cigar Galaxy (Photo)

Bob and Janice Fera

The dynamic starburst galaxy, Messier 82, is captured beautifully in this night sky photo. Astrophotographers Bob and Janice Fera took this image of M82, also known as the Cigar Galaxy, on Feb. 11 to Feb. 15, from Eagle Ridge Observatory in Foresthill, Calif. [Full Story]

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