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Best Space Photos of the Week - Dec. 28, 2013

5 Most Watched Space Events of 2013

ESA/NASA/SOHO/SDO/GSFC

Space rocks and a space rock star consumed much of the viewing this year. Find out which one took the top spot for 2013. [See the Video]

Christmas Auroras Shimmer in Sweden's Holiday Sky (Video)

Chad Blakely/Lights Over Lapland

The Christmas holiday was extra merry for veteran northern lights photographer, who captured yuletide auroras shimmering across the sky over Sweden's Abisko National Park. See how it looked to Chad Blakely in this Christmas aurora video. [See the Video]

Russian Cosmonauts On Spacewalk: Dec. 27, 2013

NASA TV

Cosmonauts Oleg Kotov, Expedition 38 commander, and flight engineer Sergey Ryazanskiy perform a spacewalk outside the International Space Station on Dec. 27, 2013. One of the cosmonauts is visible in this view from the other's spacesuit helmet camera. [See More Photos]

Saturn's Rings and Clouds Dominate Amazing New Photo

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

NASA released a new infrared view of Saturn from the Cassini spacecraft, in which the ringed planet's thick clouds have the soft feel of an "impressionist's painting." [Read Full Story]

Photos: Top 10 Space Robot 'Selfies'

CNSA

Here are amazing photos featuring the top 10 space robot "selfies." [See More Photos]

DigitalGlobe Top Image Contest 2013: The Candidate Photos

DigitalGlobe

Cuanza River, Angola, April 28, 2013 — Cambambe Dam. DigitalGlobe's annual Top Image of the Year contest showcases satellite images of natural disasters, political issues, natural wonders and current events from 2013. [See More Photos]

Photos: NASA Astronauts Perform Christmas Eve Spacewalk Outside Space Station

NASA TV

NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins floats outside the International Space Station on Dec. 24, 2013. Hopkins and crewmate Rick Mastracchio replaced an ammonia coolant pump on the space station to repair an ailing cooling pump after a Dec. 11 malfunction. The Dec. 24 spacewalk was the second dedicated to the repair.[See More Photos]

First HD Video To Moon And Back At 622 MBS Per Second

NASA

This message from NASA administrator Charles Bolden was sent to the moon and back with only a few seconds of delay. The Lunar Laser Communications Demonstration mission aboard NASA's LADEE spacecraft successfully received and retransmitted the video. [See the Video]

Photos: Astronauts Spacewalk to Fix Vital Space Station Cooling System

NASA TV

NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio moves toward the International Space Station's robotic arm as the station moves into daylight on Dec. 24, 2013. [See More Photos]

Night-Shining Clouds Show Up Early Over South Pole

LASP/University of Colorado

These rare types of wispy blue-white clouds are called noctilucent clouds, or NLCs. They form when water molecules freeze around "meteor smoke" close to the edge of space, typically about 50 to 53 miles (80 and 85 kilometers) above Earth's surface — so high that they can reflect light after the sun sets. [Read Full Story]

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