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Best Space Photos of the Week - Feb. 8, 2014

NASA Satellite Sees Sochi Winter Olympics Venues from Space (Photos)

NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team

The 2014 Winter Olympics officially begin with an extravagant opening ceremony today (Feb. 7), and even NASA has embraced the spirit of the games by snapping satellite views of Olympic venues from orbit. [Read the full story here. ]

Curiosity Rover Sees Earth from Mars for 1st Time (Photos)

NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/TAMU

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has snapped its first photo of Earth from the surface of the Red Planet, an amazing image that also includes the moon. [See the photos here.]

NASA Spacecraft Snaps More than 200,000 Photos of Mercury (Image)

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

NASA’s MESSENGER spacecraft has taken more than 200,000 images of Mercury’s surface from its spot in orbit around the closest planet to the sun. The prolific spacecraft also just received the go-ahead to continue in its second extended mission until 2015. [Read the full story here.]

Dramatic Sun Storm, Partial Solar Eclipse Spied by NASA Spacecraft (Video)

NASA/SDO

From its perch in space, a NASA satellite captured a partial solar eclipse and the eruption of a solar flare on the same day. The space agency's sun-watching Solar Dynamics Observatory saw the dual phenomena on Jan. 30. [See the video here.]

Winter Olympics Cities from Space: NASA Satellite Views (Photos)

NASA/Landsat; Tim Assal, US Geological Survey – Fort Collins Science Center

See the Winter Olympics cities as only NASA can with these amazing views from space. From the Sochi Winter Olympics of 2014 through the past, these NASA photos show Earth's Winter Olympics from orbit. [See the photos here.]

Stunning NASA Photo Shows Night Rocket Launch into Space

NASA/Tony Gray

A time-lapse photo shows an Atlas 5 rocket streaking into the heavens carrying NASA's Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS-L) into Earth orbit from Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Florida, on Jan. 23, 2014. [Read the full story here. ]

NASA TV

See spectacular photos of rocket launches blasting off for Earth orbit and beyond in 2014 in this Space.com gallery of the year's space missions from around the world. [See the photos here.]

Pow! Fresh Crater on Mars Spotted by NASA Spacecraft (Photo)

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

A NASA spacecraft has snapped a stunning photo of a Martian crater that was gouged out of the Red Planet just in the last three years or so. [Read the full story here.]

Virgin Galactic's Billionaire Founder Sir Richard Branson Takes Zero-G Flight

Steve Boxall/ZERO-G

Sir Richard Branson's first spaceflight is fast approaching, and the Virgin Galactic founder is making sure his body is ready for the ride. [Read the full story here.]

Rocket Launch Photos: Progress 54 Cargo Ship Makes Space Station Delivery

NASA TV

See launch and docking photos for Russia's unmanned Progress 54 spacecraft, which launched Feb. 5, 2014 carrying 2.5 tons of supplies for Expedition 38 astronauts on the International Space Station. [See the photos here.]

'Abominable Snow Aliens' Comic Strip Explores Life on Earth During Alien Invasion

What would aliens on Jupiter's icy moon Europa look like? A weekly comic strip from Astrobiology Magazine attempts to answer that question. Titled "The Abominable Snow Aliens of Europa," the comic follows the fictional adventures of real NASA scientist Kevin Hand during an exceedingly strange climate event on Earth. [Read the full story here.]

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