Best Space Photos of the Week - Jan. 25, 2014

Weird 'Jelly Doughnut' Rock on Mars Explained | Video

NASA

Even ‘Star Trek’ actor William Shatner wants to know about the weird “jelly doughnut” rock on Mars found by NASA’s Opportunity rover. Steve Squyres, Principal Investigator of the Mars Exploration Rover Program explains. [See the Video]

NASA's Weird RoboSimian Robot May Save Human Lives One Day (Video)

JPL-Caltech

RoboSimian was one of 16 robots that competed last month in the DARPA Robotics Challenge Trials in Homestead, Fla. The two-day competition was designed to test the robots' abilities to carry out basic disaster-relief tasks. [See the Video]

How NASA's Mars Rovers Spirit and Opportunity Work (Infographic)

by Karl Tate, Infographics Artist

Sent to Mars to conduct a 90-day investigation, both of the Mars Exploration Rover vehicles far outlasted engineers' expectations. They launched in 2003 and both arrived at Mars in January 2004. The Spirit rover operated for five years, finally expiring during a cold Martian winter. The Opportunity rover is still making discoveries in 2014. [See the Infographic]

Supernova Photos: New Star Explosion in Galaxy M82 Seen by Stargazers

Adam Block/Mount Lemmon SkyCenter/University of Arizona

Astronomers have discovered a new supernova in the galaxy M82 (the Cigar Galaxy) 12 million light-years from Earth. It is the closest star explosion in more than 20 years. Here: Adam Block sent SPACE.com this photo of the supernova as seen on Jan. 23, 2014. He captured the image from the University of Arizona's Mount Lemmon SkyCenter. [See More Photos]

Photos: NASA's TDRS-L Data Relay Satellite Ready to Launch

NASA TV

A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket lifts off carrying NASA's next-generation TDRS-L data relay satellite into orbit from Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Jan. 23, 2014. [See More Photos]

Water Found on Dwarf Planet Ceres, May Erupt from Ice Volcanoes

IMCCE-Observatoire de Paris/CNRS/Y.Gominet, B. Carry

Astronomers have discovered direct evidence of water on the dwarf planet Ceres in the form of vapor plumes erupting into space, possibly from volcano-like ice geysers on its surface. [Read the Story]

Cosmic Lagoon Shines in Spectacular Views from Very Large Telescope (Video)

ESO/VPHAS+ team

A large telescope in Chile has captured new images of the Lagoon Nebula shining 5,000 light-years from Earth. [See the Video]

World's Largest Offshore Wind Farm Seen From Space

NASA Earth Observatory

Giant wind turbines appear as white specks across the Thames Estuary in the United Kingdom, in this satellite photo of the London Array, the world's largest offshore wind farm, released today (Jan. 21). [Read the Full Story]

SpaceX Tests Parachutes for Manned Dragon Space Capsule (Video)

NASA/Kim Shiflett

SpaceX marked another milestone in its quest to build a spaceship that could deliver American astronauts into orbit. The commercial spaceflight company dropped a human-rated version of its Dragon capsule into the Pacific Ocean to test out its parachutes. [See the Video]

Homemade Rockets Soar in Laos in 'The Rocket' (Movie Trailer)

A coming of age tale set in Laos, "The Rocket," follows a boy on a mission — he wants to build a rocket and enter it into the rocket festival. [Read the Full Story]

Saturn's 'Yin and Yang' Moon Shines in NASA Photo

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

A new photo from the Cassini spacecraft shows one of Saturn’s moons in a balanced new light. [Read the Full Story]

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