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Best Space Photos of the Week (Oct. 11, 2014)

From spacewalks and sun tentacles to a wild total lunar eclipse, it's been an amazing week for space photography. Check out our favorite space images from the last seven days in this cosmic showcase, starting with the total lunar eclipse.

The space photography highlight of the week was by far the amazing total lunar eclipse of Oct. 8, which was visible from North America, the Pacific Ocean, Australia and parts of Asia. The photo above was captured by photographer Caroline Angelo as she watched the total lunar eclipse from the east side of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. Space.com readers sent in photos from as far as Australia to showcase their amazing lunar eclipse views. [See more stunning lunar eclipse photos by readers]

The predawn eclipse of the moon on Wednesday was the second total lunar eclipse of 2014, as well as the second in a series of four consecutive total lunar eclipses, which scientists call a "tetrad."

Saturn's Weird Hexagon Vortex

Saturn's rings may be the planet's most famous stunning features, but the planet also has a geometric crown of sorts in the form of a strange hexagon-shaped jet stream that swirls around its north pole. On Oct. 7, NASA unveiled a new stunning view of the Saturn hexagon as seen by the Cassini spacecraft. The photo, which was taken in July 2013, shows unexpected wavy structures in the sides of the Saturn oddity.

Astronauts Snap Amazing Spacewalk Photos

When astronauts take a walk in space, the views are stupendous. No more is that fact more clear than in these latest photos from an Oct. 7 spacewalk at the International Space Station by NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman and German astronaut Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency. [See more photos from the spacewalk ]

This photo above shows Gerst at the end of the space station's robotic arm as he totes an old coolant pump to a new location. "Safe to say, this was the most amazing thing I have done in my life," he wrote on Twitter. "The pump module I carry here has a mass of 400 kg. I could move it with my little finger." The two astronauts spent six hours and 13 minutes working outside the space station.

The Cosmic Lighthouse

 

The night sky a place of wonder and awe that photos like this amazing view from astrophotographer James L. Jenkins, Jr. The photo shows the Milky Way over Bodie Light at Hatteras National Seashore in North Carolina.

Jenkins captured this photo on July 17, and we featured it as our Image of the Day on Oct. 7. In an email, Jenkins said that a break in summer humidity and some lighthouse luck helped him capture this view. "The lighthouse was not lit that evening and the moon was below the horizon granting me unlimited exposure time to capture the dark sky's natural light."

Typhoon VongFong from Space


 
The raw power of Earth's weather takes center stage in this photo captured by NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman on Oct. 9. The photo shows Typhoon VongFong from space as it swirled across the Pacific Ocean.

"I've seen many [storms] from here, but none like this," Wiseman wrote on Twitter.

The Sun Grows a Tentacle

 

On Sept. 30, the sun grew a giant tentacle of super-hot solar plasma that was so long, it could stretch across 1 million miles from end to end. These photos of the solar tentacle, which scientists call a solar filament, were captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. You can also see a video of the giant solar filament here.

NASA Cameo in "Tomorrowland"

On Thursday, Oct. 9, Disney unveiled its first teaser trailer for the new film "Tomorrowland" and NASA turned up in an unexpected place. The trailer was unveiled at New York Comic Con, with a NASA logo on a hat popping up as the trailer begins.

The "Tomorrowland" is still unclear, but it seems to feature a special pin that transports a young girl to a world of possibilities. You can watch the "Tomorrowland" teaser trailer here.

Jersey Shore's Milky Way View

Photographer Chris Bakley captured this stunning view of the Milky Way over the shore of Cape May, New Jersey in late August and sent it in to Space.com. It appeared as a photo story on Oct. 7.

Bakley said the view was only part of the amazing night at the Jersey Shore. Some seal pups came up right next to him during the night in an unexpected encounter.

SpaceShipTwo Takes a Flight

Virgin Galactic took another step closer to manned commercial spaceflights this week with a glide test flight of SpaceShipTwo on Oct. 7. Seen here, the eight-person space plane glides to a landing at Mojave Air and Space Port in Mojave, California during the test. Passenger flights could begin in 2015. [See more SpaceShipTwo test flight photos]

Editor's note:If you have a great space photo you'd like to share with Space.com, please send images and comments in to managing editor Tariq Malik and the team at spacephotos@space.com.

Email Tariq Malik at tmalik@space.com or follow him @tariqjmalik and Google+. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Google+.

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