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Best Space Photos of the Week - Feb. 1, 2014

Help Hubble Telescope Scientists Study Amazing New Galaxy Photos (Video)

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

A newly released Hubble Space Telescope mosaic image shows the nearby spiral galaxy M83 in rich detail. Also known as the Southern Pinwheel, the galaxy lies 15 million light-years away in the constellation of Hydra. [See the Video]

US Air Force and the Night Sky: Amazing Photos

U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jonathan Snyder

When you think of night sky photography, the U.S. military may not be at the top of your list. But U.S. Air Force photographers have captured some spectacular views of the night sky as part of their regular work chronicling American Air Force activities. See the amazing views in this SPACE.com gallery of USAF imagery. HERE: 1st Lt. Drew Parks communicates with a Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet supporting Operation Spartan Shield Sept. 11, 2012, in Southwest Asia. Joint terminal attack controllers establish and maintain command and control communications, control air traffic, naval gun fire and provide precision terminal attack guidance of U.S. and coalition close air support. Parks is a joint terminal attack controller assigned to the 82nd Expeditionary Air Support Operations Squadron. [See the Photos]

This Wall-Crawling Gecko Robot May Fly in Space One Day (Video)

Simon Fraser University School of Engineering Science/MENRVA

Meet "Abigaille:" a six-legged gecko-inspired robot that might be able to climb walls in space with sticky feet, borrowed from nature. [See the Video]

Photos: 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics and Space Travel

DigitalGlobe

This DigitalGlobe satellite image shows the 2014 Winter Olympics event slopes in Sochi, Russia. This image was collected Jan. 2, 2014. [See the Photos]

NASA Video Captures Stunning Volcano Eruption View from Space

NASA/JSC/Image Science and Analysis Laboratory

On June 12, 2009, the International Space Station happened to be passing over the Sarychev Volcano just as it was beginning to erupt. A newly released video based on several stunning snapshots taken by astronauts reveals the beauty and power of the erupting volcano. [See the Video]

Former Space Shuttle Commander Flies Virgin Galactic's Private Spaceship for 1st Time

Virgin Galactic

CJ Sturckow, who has four space shuttle missions under his belt, got behind the wheel of Virgin Galactic's private SpaceShipTwo for the first time earlier this month, guiding the vehicle through an unpowered "glide flight." [Full Story]

NASA Moon Probe Spotted by Robotic Lunar Sibling (Photos)

NASA/Goddard/Arizona State University

In a moment of lunar synchronicity, a moon-orbiting NASA probe spied another of the space agency's lunar crafts from its spot in orbit. [See the Photos]

NASA Sees Comet That Will Buzz Mars This Year (Photo)

NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA is keeping a keen and cautious eye on a comet that will buzz Mars this October, coming much closer to the Red Planet than the moon is to Earth. [Full Story]

Brown Dwarf Photos: Failed Stars and Stellar Misfits Revealed

NASA/JPL-Caltech

Brown dwarfs are oddities of space. They are neither star nor planet, but instead a comic misfit - failed stars that never burned hot enough to ignite into a full-blown star. See images of these strange objects from across the universe in this SPACE.com gallery. HERE: Our cosmic backyard as seen from 30 light-years away. Red circles indicate the discoveries of brown dwarfs by NASA's WISE space telescope. [See the Photos.]

Virgin Galactic Fires New Engines for Satellite-Launching Rocket

Virgin Galactic

Virgin Galactic tested its new fleet of liquid-fueled rocket engines last week and unveiled additional details about the company's plans to use these hybrid motors to launch commercial satellites into orbit. [Full Story]

Stunning Panoramas Put China's Moon Rover and Lander in Lunar Spotlight (Photos)

CNSA/Chinanews/Ken Kremer/Marco Di Lorenzo | kenkremer.com

China's first moon rover and lander are revealed in amazing detail in stunning new panoramic images stitched together from recent photos from the country's Chang'e 3 lunar mission. [Full Story]

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