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Best Space Photos of the Week - Sept. 13, 2014

Rosetta Spacecraft Snaps Amazing Selfie with Comet Pal (Photo)

ESA/Rosetta/Philae/CIVA

Selfies can even be taken in deep space. The European Space Agency's comet-chasing Rosetta probe's Philae lander snapped a stunning photo of the spacecraft and its target comet, 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. [See more photos here.]

Sept. 10, 2014 X1.6 Solar Flare: Gold

NASA/SDO/Goddard

On Sept. 10, 2014, the sun unleashed a massive X1.6-class solar flare aimed directly at Earth. Take a look at amazing photos of the solar storm and its effects on Earth in this Space.com gallery.

Photos: Satellites Sees Glowing Iceland Volcano

NASA Earth Observatory

The hot, wrinkled lava from Iceland's Bardarbunga volcano shines bright in two new satellite images of the blazing eruption. [Read the full story.]

Colorful 1st Map of Rosetta Probe's Comet Target Revealed

ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team/MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

The European spacecraft Rosetta made history last month when it entered orbit around a duck-shaped comet. Since then, the probe has captured such detailed views of the comet's landscape — its jagged cliffs, craters and boulders — that scientists have drawn their first map of the celestial object. [See more photos here.]

September 2014 Harvest Moon Over Italy

Stefano De Rosa/stefanoderosa.com

Astrophotographer Stefano De Rosa sent in a photo of the supermoon rising over the Basilica of Superga, near Turin, Italy, taken on Sept. 8, 2014. [See more photos here.]

Windblown

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

Friday, Sept. 12, 2014: The tropics of Mars frequently show "Transverse aeolian ridges," or TARs, consisting of small ripples shaped by the wind. These surface features stand up to 20 feet (6 meters) tall, with a few tens of yards (tens of meters) between them. How they form remains a mystery to researchers. These rare banded TARs lie in Iapygia, south of Syrtis Major on Mars. They resemble TARs elsewhere on Mars, except for bands or layers on their northwest faces which do not appear on the southeast sides. Possibly the ripples grew vertically, as material collected at the crests of the ridges. [See more photos here.]

In the Southern Milky Way | Space Wallpaper

ESO/G. Beccari

This space wallpaper from the Wide Field Imager on the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile shows two dramatic star formation regions in the southern Milky Way. The first of these, on the left, is dominated by the star cluster NGC 3603, located about 20 000 light-years away, in the Carina–Sagittarius spiral arm of the Milky Way galaxy. The second object, on the right, is a collection of glowing gas clouds known as NGC 3576 that lies only about half as far from Earth. [See the wallpaper here.]

Asteroid 2014 RC's Close Fly-By Snapped By Lowell Observatory | Video

Lowell Observatory

The space rock flew within 21,000 miles of the surface of Earth on September 7th, 2014. A. Thirouin, B. Skiff, and N. Moskovitz analyzed the brightness variations using the Lowell Observatory's 1.1m Hall telescope in Arizona. [See the video here.]

Glittering Star Cluster May Help Solve Stellar Mystery (Video, Photos)

ESO and Digitized Sky Survey 2

Astronomers have found that the old stars in globular clusters of the Milky Way actually have less of the element lithium than expected. [See the video here.]

Astronaut Captures Video of Trash-Filled Spaceship's Fiery Demise

ESA/Alexander Gerst

When a private spaceship was cremated over Earth earlier this summer, the astronauts living and working on board the International Space Station had a stunning view of the vehicle's fiery demise. [See the video here.]

On Instagram Space Station, NASA Astronaut's Earth Photos Shine

NASA/Swanson DSC_4993

Call him the Instagram astronaut. NASA astronaut Steve Swanson has been beaming back incredible views from the International Space Station via Instagram since he flew up to the orbiting outpost about six months ago. [See more photos here.]

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