Best Space Photos of the Week - June 14, 2014

'The Beast' Asteroid Seen in Amazing Detail (Photos, Video)

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Arecibo Observatory/USRA/NSF

The nature of "The Beast" has been revealed.

Wow! NASA Rover on Mars Sees Mercury Cross the Sun's Face (Photos, Video)

NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/Texas A&M

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has photographed Mercury crossing the face of the sun, marking the first time such a planetary "transit" has ever been imaged from the surface of a planet other than Earth.

Space Telescope Spots Baby Stars Inside Celestial Snake (Photo)

NASA/JPL-Caltech/2MASS

A NASA space telescope has peeled back the dusty veil around the Serpent constellation to reveal a cluster of newborn stars.

Wow! Prototype NASA Lander Aces 1st Night Flight Test (Video)

NASA

Spewing orange and blue flame against the dark sky, NASA's Morpheus lander flew more than 800 feet (244 meters) into the air during its first-ever night flight test at Florida's Kennedy Space Center late last month.

Sun Unleashes 2 Major Solar Flares Back-to-Back (Video)

NASA/SDO/Goddard/Wiessinger

The sun fired off a third X-class solar flare on Wednesday (June 11). For the latest story, read: Sun Erupts with 3rd Huge Solar Flare in 2 Days: Video

Private European Space Plane Prototype Passes 1st Drop Test (Video)

Airbus Defence and Space/Astrium SAS 2014

A potential European entry into the suborbital space tourism industry now has a few flights under its belt.

World Cup in Space: Astronauts Play Cosmic Soccer on Space Station (Video)

NASA (via YouTube as ReelNASA)

World Cup soccer excitement has launched into space.

'Dark' and Powerful Space Explosions May Be Cloaked by Cosmic Dust (Video, Images)

NAOJ

Astronomers using a giant radio telescope to investigate the most violent explosions in the universe, known as gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), found something surprising in two distant galaxies: more dust and less gas than they expected.[See the video here.]

Take It to Your Leaders: SpaceX's Futuristic Dragon Spaceship Invades D.C.

Tanya Lewis/Space.com

Call it a spaceship soiree. SpaceX, a frontrunner in the commercial space race to launch Americans off the Earth, brought its new manned Dragon capsule to the nation's capital this week to showcase the futuristic spaceship.[Read the full story here.]

Chow Down! Star Will Devour 2 Alien Planets

David A. Aguilar (CfA)

A star shining about 2,800 light-years from Earth will chow down on two of its planets millions of years from now.

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