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Best Space Photos of the Week - May 23, 2015

Gorgeous New View of Medusa Nebula

European Southern Observatory

From the launch of the U.S. Air Force's X-37B space plane to new views of the odd bright spots on the dwarf planet Ceres, don't miss these amazing space images of the week for May 23, 2015. HERE: The Medusa Nebula captured in a new close-up image from the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope in Chile. The nebula is formed from a dying star shedding its outer layers. See the Full Story and Video.

U.S. Air Force Launches X-37B Space Plane

ULA

The Air Force's robotic X-37B space plane launches aboard an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on May 20, 2015, kicking off the robotic vehicle's fourth orbital mission. Read the Full Story.

Best-Ever Views of Ceres' Puzzling Bright Spots

NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

The strange bright white spots on the dwarf planet Ceres are seen in this best view yet from NASA's Dawn spacecraft, which captured this image on May 16, 2015. Read the Full Story.

25 Years Later: Hubble Space Telescope's First Image

NASA, ESA, and STScI; Ground Image: E. Persson (Las Campanas Observatory, Chile)/Observatories of the Carnegie Institution of Washington

At right: Part of the first image taken by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope on May 20, 1990. At left: A picture of the same region of sky captured by a 100-inch telescope at Las Campanas Observatory in Chile. Read the Full Story.

Russian Proton Rocket Launches, May 16, 2015

A Russian-built Proton rocket carrying the MexSat-1 communications satellite launches from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on May 16, 2015. The rocket failed about eight minutes after liftoff. Read the Full Story.

Balancing Boulders on Comet 67P/C-G

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

This image of boulders on Comet 67P/C-G was taken by Europe’s Rosetta spacecraft on Sep. 19, 2014, from a distance of about of 18 miles (29 kilometers). Image released May 18, 2015. Read the Full Story.

Astronaut's View of Dragon Departure, May 21, 2015

Samantha Cristoforetti, via Twitter as @AstroSamantha

European Space Agency astronaut Sam Cristoforetti captured this shot of SpaceX’s Dragon cargo capsule leaving the International Space Station on May 21, 2015. “Look carefully.. you'll see #Dragon resting on the horizon,” she tweeted along with the photo. Read the Full Story.

SpaceX's Dragon Capsule Splashes Down

SpaceX

SpaceX's robotic Dragon capsule splashes down in the Pacific Ocean on May 21, 2015, bringing an end to the company's 6th cargo mission to the International Space Station for NASA. Read the Full Story.

The Whirlpool Galaxy

The striking arms of the Whirlpool galaxy can be seen in stunning detail in this astrophotographer image by Jaspal Chadha. Read the Full Story.

Milky Way Rising Over Arches National Park, Utah

Astrophotographer Stephen Ippolito sent in a photo of the Milky Way rising, taken in the Windows area of Arches National Park during May 2015. See more amazing space photos.

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