Best Space Photos of the Week - May 12, 2013

"Ring of Fire" on May 9, 2013
This screengrab shows the annular solar eclipse of May 9, 2013, at the moment of the "ring of fire," visible in Australia. This online image is provided by the Coca-Cola Space Science Center in Columbus, GA. (Image credit: Coca-Cola Space Science Center/Columbus State University)

Halley's Comet Legacy: Photos of Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower

Justin Ng

Astrophotographer Justin Ng of Singapore sent in a photo of an Eta Aquarid meteor taken at Mount Bromo, East Java, Indonesia, May 5, 2013. [See full gallery]

“Ring of Fire” Seen in Northern Territories, Australia

Jay Pasachoff/Williams College

Astronomer Jay Pasachoff sent in this photo on May 10, 2013 capturing the annular solar eclipse at the moment of the "ring of fire.” He took the image from a site 43 miles (70 km) north of Tennant Creek, Northern Territories, Australia using a Nikon D600 FX and a 4000-mm Nikkor lens with a Thousand Oaks Optical filter. [See our full gallery of May's "Ring of Fire" Solar Eclipse here]

Astronauts Hunt for Space Station Ammonia Leak (Spacewalk Photos)


NASA astronauts Chris Cassidy (top) and Tom Marshburn work outside the International Space Station after replacing an ammonia coolant pump on May 11, 2013. [See full gallery]

Amazing Night Sky Photos by Stargazers (May 2013)

Greg Diesel Walck

Astrophotographer Greg Diesel Walck sent in a photo of the crescent moon at sunrise taken on May 8, 2013. He writes: "Finally clear skies after days of going out at 4 am to see the rising moon. This is the last view before the new moon and the orange skies were amazing. Unedited picture at 5:15 am, Currituck Sound, coastal North Carolina." [See full gallery]

Herschel's Dazzling Look at Horsehead Nebula

ESA/Herschel/PACS, SPIRE/N. Schneider, Ph. André, V. Könyves (CEA Saclay, France) for the “Gould Belt survey” Key Programme

This space wallpaper reveals a stunning view from ESA’s Herschel space observatory of the iconic Horsehead Nebula in the context of its surroundings. [Full Story]

Moon's Shadow on Earth Seen from Space During Solar Eclipse

NASA/Goddard/MODIS Rapid Response Team

A NASA Earth-observing satellite has captured the moon's shadow darkening a patch of the Pacific Ocean during Thursday's stunning "ring of fire" solar eclipse. [Full Story]

Rosette Nebula Blooms In Amazing Stargazer Photo

Reinhold Wittich /

The Rosette Nebula decorates the night sky in this beautiful image. Astrophotographer Reinhold Wittich took this photo from his backyard observatory in Geisling, Germany using a 12" f/4 Newton telescope. [Full Story]

All You See Is Strange Clouds

NASA/John Grant

Looking a bit like a Paul Klee canvas, red and white vapor clouds floated over the Marshall Islands as part of NASA’s Equatorial Vortex Experiment (EVEX). The release of lithium vapor formted the red cloud, and released trimethyl aluminum (TMA) formed the white tracer clouds. Scientists used these clouds to observe the neutral winds in the ionosphere. The experiment took place early on May 7, 2013 (EDT), at Roi Namur, Republic of the Marshall Islands. Two rockets flew the EVEX experiment, and another two carried up the Metal Oxide Space Cloud experiment (MOSC).[See More Images]


NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

Saturn’s moon Enceladus shows off its striking plume of icy material to Cassini spacecraft's cameras. Enceladus, 313 miles (504 kilometers) across, shines by light reflected off Saturn. This view displays the Saturn-facing side of Enceladus. The image was taken in visible light on Jan. 18, 2013. [See More Images]

Thirty Meter Telescope

An artist's illustration of the Thirty-Meter Telescope atop the volcanic peak of Mauna Kea in Hawaii. [See full gallery]

Smartphones in Space! Photos of NASA's PhoneSats & More


Although the ultimate goal of the PhoneSat mission was to determine whether a consumer-grade smartphone can be used as the main flight avionics for a satellite in space, the three miniature satellites (named Alexander, Graham and Bell) also took pictures of Earth and transmitted these “image-data packets” to multiple ground stations on Earth. [See full gallery]

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