Best Space Photos of the Week - July 5, 2014

NASA Launches 'Flying Saucer' to Test Mars Landing Tech (Video)

NASA/JPL

New NASA gear that could help humanity set up an outpost on Mars has gotten its first test flight. [See the video here.]

Cosmic Crumbs Reveal Umbrella Galaxy's Eating Habits

R. J. GaBany (Blackbird Obs.)

Astronomers are studying the feeding habits of a cosmic cannibal to learn how galaxies grow. [Read the full story here.]

NASA Launches Satellite to Monitor Carbon Dioxide

NASA/Bill Ingalls

NASA has launched its first spacecraft devoted to monitoring atmospheric carbon dioxide, the heat-trapping gas thought to be responsible for much of Earth's recent warming trend. [See the video here.]

Hubble Telescope to Hunt for NASA Probe's Next Stop After Pluto

NASA, ESA, SwRI, JHU/APL, and the New Horizons KBO Search Team

NASA's New Horizons spacecraft is hurtling through the outer solar system on a path to visit Pluto next July. But this summer, scientists are trying to figure out where to send the far-flung probe after its dwarf-planet flyby — and they've already found some promising leads. [Read the full story here.]

Astronauts Spot Hurricane Arthur From Space Station (Photos, Video)

NASA

A stunning photo snapped by astronauts aboard the International Space Station shows Hurricane Arthur churning off the coast of Florida, heading north. [Read the full story here.]

Odd Exoplanet Find Hints at Many Earth-Like Worlds

Cheongho Han, Chungbuk National University, Republic of Korea

Astronomers have for the first time detected a rocky alien world in an Earth-like orbit around just one star in a two-star system. [Read the full story here.]

Inside Independence: First Look at Houston Space Shuttle's New Cockpit

collectSPACE.com

Space Center Houston, the official visitor attraction for the Johnson Space Center in Texas, invited collectSPACE.com on an exclusive first walkthrough of the newly-upgraded, high-fidelity shuttle replica, before the winged orbiter is hoisted atop NASA's historic Shuttle Carrier Aircraft for display. [Read the full story here.]

Newborn Stars Will Rip Apart Their Stellar Womb (Video, Photos)

ESO

Massive young stars that will eventually destroy their own stellar nursery shine brightly in a dazzling new photo.

How Do You Age a Star? Check Its 'Heartbeat' (Video)

Animation: Pieter Degroote (KU Leuven); Background image: ESO

Watching the "heartbeat" of young stars could help researchers more precisely determine the stars' ages, which in turn would reveal insights about how they are born and age, a new study reports.[See the video here.]

NASA Saturn Probe Will End Mission in Epic 'Grand Finale'

NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA has chosen a name for the dramatic final phase of its Saturn-studying Cassini mission, with a little help from the public. [Read the full story here.]

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