Best Space Photos of the Week - March 23, 2013

Northern Lights: Amazing Aurora Photos of 2013

Auroramax

Canada's automated aurora camera tweeted this photo on March 17, 2013. The tweet read: "AURORAMAX GALLERY • Latest #photo of #aurora borealis above Yellowknife, NWT taken at 03:13 MDT on March 17, 2013. pic.twitter.com/E9q7pQJ1l7." [See the full photo gallery]

Curiosity Rover Eyes Huge Mars Mountain in Amazing Photos

NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has captured a stunningly detailed panorama of the giant Red Planet mountain that is the robot's ultimate science destination. [Full Story]

NASA Apollo Moon Rocket Engines Recovered by Jeff Bezos (Photos)

Bezos Expeditions

The thrust chamber of one of five first stage F-1 rocket engines used to launch one of NASA's mighty Saturn V rocket on a historic Apollo moon mission is seen on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean in this Bezos Expeditions image. [See the full photo gallery]

Aftermath of Volcano Eruption Seen from Space

NASA Earth Observatory.

Ash, lava and debris cloak the snowy slopes of Kizimen volcano on Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula after a series of eruptions early this month. [Full Story]

Jupiter's Atmosphere Has Weird Hot Flashes

NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI/GSFC

Though Jupiter is shrouded in swirling clouds, its atmosphere has some mysterious clear patches that scientists call "hot spots." A new study of 13-year-old Cassini probe photos of Jupiter sheds new light on the planet’s hotspot. [Full Story]

Gamers Wanted: Teach Space Robots with Drone App

ESA-Anneke Le Floc'h

The ESA has launched a free augmented reality app for iPhone and iPad called AstroDrone that lets players "see" virtual objects, such as a replica of the International Space Station, and practice docking their drones to the station. [Full Story]

US Military Launches Missile Defense Satellite (Photos)

Pat Corkery, United Launch Alliance

A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket blasts off from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station carrying the second Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS) GEO-2 satellite for the U.S. Air Force at 5:21 p.m. EDT on March 19, 2013. [See the full photo gallery]

ESA and the Planck Collaboration

This image unveiled March 21, 2013, shows the cosmic microwave background (CMB) as observed by the European Space Agency's Planck space observatory. [See the full photo gallery]

Heart Nebula Wows in Beautiful Night Sky Photo

Located about 7,500 light-years away in the constellation of Cassiopeia, the heart nebula is a mix of gas and dark dust. [Full Story]

On the Moon, NASA Probe Sees Where Sun Never Shines

NASA/GSFC/SVS

NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter is mapping moon craters that have never seen the light of day. See how the powerful probe can peek inside the moon's permanent lunar shadows. [Full Story]

NASA Video Captures Comet, Sun Storm and Earth Together

NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/STEREO

A new NASA video has captured an amazing view of the Comet Pan-STARRS weathering a solar eruption, with the Earth in the background. See how NASA's Stereo spacecraft captured the cosmic sight. [Full Story]

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