Best Space Photos of the Week - Nov. 23, 2013

MAVEN Launch Photos: NASA Mars Orbiter Launches Toward Red Planet

Pat Corkery/United Launch Alliance

The Atlas V rocket with NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) spacecraft took off from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 41, on Nov. 18, Cape Canaveral, Fla. [See More Photos]

Launch Photos: Minotaur 1 Rocket Lights Up Night Sky

NASA/Chris Perry

An Orbital Sciences Minotaur 1 rocket lights up the night sky as it launches the Air Force's ORS-3 mission of 29 small satellites into orbit from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Va., on Nov. 19, 2013. [See More Photos]

Tails of Comet ISON and Comet Lovejoy Caught in Stunning Time-Lapse Video

Justin Ng (justinngphoto.com)

An Orbital Sciences Minotaur 1 rocket lights up the night sky as it launches the Air Force's ORS-3 mission of 29 small satellites into orbit from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Va., on Nov. 19, 2013. [Read Full Story]

Spectacular Night Rocket Launch Wows Skywatchers on US East Coast (Photos)

NASA/Allison Stancil

A dazzling nighttime rocket launch wowed skywatchers all along the U.S. East Coast Tuesday (Nov. 19). [See their amazing photos and accounts here.]

Spectacular Comet ISON Shines Bright in New Photo from Chile Telescope

TRAPPIST/E. Jehin/ESO

A dazzling new image captures Comet ISON blazing up as it heads toward its highly anticipated close encounter with the sun next week. [Read Full Story]

Comet ISON's Thanksgiving Sun Encounter: An Observer's Guide

TRAPPIST/E. Jehin/ESO

The incoming Comet ISON is now in the home stretch of its long-awaited hairpin loop around the sun on Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 28), making it a great target for amateur astronomers and stargazers. But there are some tips and info you'll want to keep in mind before you go comet hunting. [Read Full Story]

NASA Sees Comet ISON 9 Days Before Close Sun Encounter

NASA/MSFC/Aaron Kingery

NASA has captured an amazing new photo of the brightening Comet ISON, an image that reveals the comet's tail ahead of its rendezvous with the sun next week. [Read Full Story]

Amazing Images Show Northern Lights as Seen by Naked Eye (Photos)

Mike Taylor has photographed fantastic Northern Lights displays, and then modified the captured images to reflect the less-dramatic colors and hues seen by the naked eye. These slides show "true" scenes of auroras — captured by Taylor's camera — each followed by desaturated images that reflect what a human eye would see.

This Is What a Laser From the Moon Looks Like (Photo)

ESA

NASA's new LADEE moon probe is beaming data to Earth with an innovative new space laser communications system. See what the laser from the moon looks like in this infrared photo. [Read Full Story]

Sun Fires Off Powerful Solar Flare (Video)

NASA/Solar Dynamics Observatory

The sun shot out a powerful solar flare early Tuesday (Nov. 19) morning. Though the flare was not pointed directly at Earth, it did cause a radio blackout at 5:26 a.m. EST (1026 GMT), when the sun fired off the flare, space weather experts said. [See the Video]

Stunning Comet ISON Photos Captured by Amateur Astronomer (Images)

A spectacular set of photos taken by an amateur astrophotographer chronicles the evolution of Comet ISON over the last few months, which has seen the much-hyped icy wanderer brighten so much that it's now visible to the naked eye. [Read the Full Story]

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