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Best Space Photos of the Week - May 18, 2013

Skylab's Remains: NASA Space Station Debris in Australia (Photos)

An oxygen tank from the Skylab Space Station, the largest of several pieces that were recovered from America’s first space station following its re-entry in 1979, and now on display at the Esperance Municipal Museum in Western Australia. [See full galleryof skylab debris ]

Spectacular Auroras Dance Over Michigan in Time-Lapse Video

Shawn Malone/LakeSuperiorPhoto

Amazing auroras brighten the sky in a stunning new time-lapse video shot in the upper latitudes of the continental United States. [Full Story]

Private Space Plane Arrives in California for Key Flight Tests

NASA/Tom Tschida

The private Dream Chaser space plane has arrived at a NASA facility in California to prepare for flight tests. [Full Story]

NASA

On November 17, 1970 the Soviet Luna 17 spacecraft landed the first roving remote-controlled robot on the Moon. Known as Lunokhod 1, it weighed just under 2,000 pounds and was designed to operate for 90 days while guided by a 5-person team on planet Earth at the Deep Space Center near Moscow, USSR. Lunokhod 1 actually toured the lunar Mare Imbrium (Sea of Rains) for 11 months in one of the greatest successes of the Soviet lunar exploration program.

Jaw-Dropping Views of Night Sky and Earth Win Photo Contest

Luc Perrot/TWAN http://twanight.org

Eye-popping images of celestial wonders shining over equally stunning Earth views have won the top spots in the 2013 International Earth and Sky Photo Contest, competition organizers say. [Full Story]

Stargazer Sees Amazing Half Moon Bathed in Blue (Photo)

VegaStar Carpentier

The artistic eye of astrophotographer VegaStar Carpentier yields a stunning image of the half moon bathed in blue. See how she did it. [Full Story]

Telescope Reveals Spectacular 'Fiery Ribbon' in Orion Nebula (Photos)

ESO/Digitized Sky Survey 2

This dramatic new image of cosmic clouds in the constellation of Orion reveals what seems to be a fiery ribbon in the sky. This orange glow represents faint light coming from grains of cold interstellar dust, at wavelengths too long for human eyes to see. [See full gallery of skylab debris ]

Hot Blue Stars of Pleiades Sparkle in Spectacular Photo

Reinhold Wittich / www.wittich.com

Astrophotographer Reinhold Wittich snapped this photo of the Pleiades star cluster from his backyard observatory in Geisling, Germany using a 12" f/4 Newton telescope. [Full Story]

Pale Moon

Peter Öberg

Astrophotographer Peter Öberg sent in a photo of the moon over Timrå on the central eastern coast of Sweden, taken on the morning of April 30, 2013. [See More Images]

Snow Falling on Telescopes

ESO/José Francisco Salgado

This image shows a wintry La Silla Observatory in Chile’s Atacama Desert sitting beneath the Milky Way. Despite the telescopes’ location in one of the best areas for astronomical observation, at an altitude of 7800 feet (2400 meters), the desert cannot completely escape winter weather, including snow blanketing the mountain peak and telescope domes. The high altitude sites operated by European Southern Observatory can experience both hot and cold temperatures through the year, including sometimes harsh conditions. Image released May 13, 2013. [See More Images]

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