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Best Space Photos of the Week - Nov. 16, 2013

Two Comets Spotted by NASA Spacecraft Orbiting Mercury (Photo)

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

NASA's Messenger probe orbiting Mercury spotted and photographed Comet Encke and Comet ISON — two comets set to make close brushes with the sun later this month. [Read the Full Story]

Newfound Comet Lovejoy Gets Brighter as It Streaks Near Earth

Victor Rogus

The morning sky is currently playing host to a newly seen comet, which is more noticeable than the potentially awe-inspiring Comet ISON. [Read the Full Story]

Strange 'Elephant Trunk' Space Clouds Surround Star Cluster (Video)

ESO/G. Beccari

A telescope in Chile has captured the most detailed views ever of odd clouds of interstellar dust that are being sculpted into strange shapes by the stellar wind from nearby stars. [Read the Full Story]

Saturn, Earth Shine in Amazing New Photo by NASA Probe

NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI

A NASA spacecraft has revealed an unprecedented view of Saturn from space, showing the entire gas giant backlit by the sun with several of its moons and all but one of its rings, as Earth, Venus and Mars all appear as pinpricks light in the background. [Read the Full Story]

Northern Lights Dance Over Sweden in Stunning Time-Lapse (Video)

Chad Blakley (lightsoverlapland.com)

From the frigid northern edge of Sweden, videographer Chad Blakley has captured amazing footage this fall of the northern lights, which have been stimulated by a recent uptick in solar activity. [Read the Full Story]

The Brightest Stars

ESO/B. Tafreshi

The Carina Nebula glows in the sky above Chajnantor Plateau, in the Chilean Andes. In the foreground, shadowy figures of antennas of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) stand. Carina Nebula lies about 7500 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Carina (The Keel). The cloud of glowing gas and dust represents the one of brightest nebulas in the sky. It contains several of the Milky Way’s brightest and most massive known stars, such as Eta Carinae. ESO Photo Ambassador Babak Tafreshi captured this panoramic view. [Read the Full Story]

The Clearest View

NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration

Hubble Space Telescope has produced the best image of the Antennae Galaxies, following its earlier photos from 1997 and 2006. Improvements made during the servicing missions allowed this achievement to occur. Two formerly spiral galaxies, NGC 4038 and NGC 4039, have torn at each other gravitationally for the past few hundred million years, pulling stars from each other into a streaming arc between them. Eventually they will form one large elliptical galaxy. The galaxies derive their names from features not visible in this image—far-flung stars and gas streamers stretching out into long antenna-like structures. [Read the Full Story]

Arc in the Sky

AuroraMAX

Canada's automated aurora camera tweeted this photo on Nov. 9, 2013. The tweet read: "Latest #photo of #aurora borealis above #Yellowknife, NWT taken at 00:34 MST on November 9, 2013. pic.twitter.com/JvTkRCZW4r" [Read the Full Story]

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