Best Space Photos of the Week - Aug. 2, 2014

Huge European Cargo Ship Launches Its Last Delivery Flight to Space Station


A European space cargo ship as large as a double-decker bus blasted off for the International Space Station on Tuesday, marking the final space voyage for the huge robotic spacecraft. [Read the full story here.]

Russia Restores Contact with Gecko-Filled Space Capsule


A Russian space capsule carrying more than 20 science experiments — including a habitat full of geckos on a mission to mate in orbit — was feared to be in trouble for a few days after it stopped responding to commands from the ground. [Read the full story here.]

Galaxy's Huge Black Hole Puts on Spectacular Fireworks Show (Video)

X-ray: NASA/CXC/Caltech/P.Ogle et al; Optical: NASA/STScI; IR: NASA/JPL-Caltech; Radio: NSF/NRAO/VLA

The supermassive black hole at the center of a far-off galaxy is putting on a fireworks display of cosmic proportions. [Read the full story here.]

NASA's Mars Rover Opportunity Breaks Off-World Driving Record


NASA's Opportunity rover on Mars has now boldly gone farther than any vehicle has before on the surface of another world, space agency officials announced today (July 28). [Read the full story here.]

101 Geysers Spotted on Saturn's Icy Moon Enceladus


The icy Saturn moon Enceladus sports at least 101 geysers, which reach all the way down to the satellite's subsurface ocean, new research suggests. [Read the full story here.]

Early Earth: A Battered, Hellish World with Water Oases for Life

Simone Marchi

Asteroids and comets that repeatedly smashed into the early Earth covered the planet's surface with molten rock during its earliest days, but still may have left oases of water that could have supported the evolution of life, scientists say. [Read the full story here.]

Weird Orbits of Alien Planets May Be Due to Twin Stars

R. Hurt (NASA/JPL-Caltech/IPAC)

Some of the oddly skewed orbits of many alien worlds may be due to the twin stars they are often found circling, a new study suggests. [Read the full story here.]

New Rosetta Images Show Bright Neck of Probe's Target Comet


Images taken by a European probe en route to link up with a comet, have revealed a striking feature of the target comet coming into view. [Read the full story here.]

Weird Supernova May Blow Away Star Explosion Theories

NASA/Swift/P. Brown, TAMU

Light from a radioactive metal forged inside a supernova blast could prompt a rethink of how some star explosions occur. [Read the full story here.]

NASA's Next Mars Rover to Collect Martian Samples, Carry Lasers

NASA/Bill Ingalls

NASA's next Mars rover will feature lasers, ground-penetrating radar and other high-tech science gear designed to help it snag samples of the most interesting Martian rocks for eventual return to Earth. [Read the full story here.]

Going Nova: Star Explosions Unleash Gamma-Ray Blasts

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center/ Conceptual Image Lab

Gamma-rays, the most powerful form of light, may erupt from star explosions called novas surprisingly often, but the way these gamma-rays form remains a mystery, scientists say. [Read the full story here.]

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