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Best Space Photos of the Week - July 20, 2013

Tiny New Moon Discovered Around Neptune

NASA, ESA, and M. Showalter (SETI Institute)

A never-before-seen moon has been spotted in orbit around Neptune. A scientist using NASA and the European Space Agency's Hubble Space Telescope found the tiny moon — called S/2004 N 1 — on July 1. The 14th moon found orbiting Neptune, S/2004 N 1 is estimated to be no more than 12 miles (19 kilometers) in diameter. [Read the Full Story]

Ancient Mars River May Have Flowed into Huge Ocean

DiBiase et al./Journal of Geophysical Research/2013 and USGS/NASA Landsat

Scientists have spotted what appears to be an ancient river delta, which may have emptied into a vast Martian ocean that inundated up to one-third of the Red Planet long ago, a new study reports. [Read the Full Story]

Space Cloud Ripped Apart by Milky Way's Giant Black Hole

ESO/S. Gillessen/MPE/Marc Schartmann

Astronomers have spied a huge gas cloud being pulled like taffy around the supermassive black hole at the heart of the Milky Way. [Read the Full Story]

Northern Lights Surround Mountain in Stunning New Photo

© Mike Taylor | Taylor Photography

The northern lights envelop Maine’s highest mountain in purple and magenta and reflect off a nearby pond in this beautiful night sky photo. [Read the Full Story]

Photos: Zero-Gravity Science at NASA's Microgravity University

SPACE.com/Cady Coleman

A computer rendering of the UCSD microgravity fire experiment, after deposition of the fuel droplet. [See more images

United Launch Alliance

The US Navy’s second Mobile User Objective System (MUOS-2) satellite launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida on July 19, 2013. [See more images

Photos: NASA Aborts Spacewalk After Spacesuit Water Leak

NASA

NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy participates in a session of extravehicular activity as work continues on the International Space Station. A little more than one hour into the spacewalk, European Space Agency astronaut Luca Parmitano (out of frame) reported water floating behind his head inside his helmet. This image was released July 16, 2013. [See more images

Magnificent Milky Way Glows Over Machu Picchu

Thomas O'Brien | www.tmophoto.com

The glowing arc of the Milky Way points to the great ruins of the Incan Empire, Machu Picchu, in this vivid night sky image. [Read the full story

Rocket Engine Part Recovered by Amazon CEO Has Apollo 11 History

Bezos Expeditions

Forty-four years and three days after helping to launch the first men to walk on the moon, a huge rocket engine part salvaged from the ocean floor has been positively identified as a historic component of the Apollo 11 lunar landing mission. [Read the full story

Ghost in the Shell

Terry Hancock, Fred Herrmann and André van der Hoeven

In 1764, Charles Messier discovered this celestial object, M27, the Dumbbell Nebula, the 27th on Messier’s famous list, and the first planetary nebula to be included. The image shown here represents an international collaboration between Andre van der Hoeven in Holland, Fred Herrmann in Alabama and Terry Hancock in Fremont, Michigan. Almost 40 hours of data collected using different telescopes and CCD cameras combine in the final image. Says Hancock, "Using narrow band filters and very long exposures we were able to capture the outer hydrogen and oxygen shell of M27, which is not normally visible in amateur images." [See More Images]

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