Best Space Photos of the Week – Sept. 05, 2015

We’re Gonna Fly to the Moon

Guilherme Coelho

Astrophotographer Guilherme Coelho sent in a photo taken in Santo Andre, Brazil, of a 737-800 airplane on the way to Rio transiting the moon on August 30, 2015.[Read the full story.]

Globular Cluster Messier 92

Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope/Coelum

Globular cluster Messier 92 lies roughly 26,000 light years away in the constellation of Hercules. This celestial object containshundreds of thousands of stars bound together by mutual gravitational attraction in a space 100 light years in diameter. Researchers have great interest in these clusters as they are the oldest stellar systems known in the universe, being 12 to 14 billion years old. [Read the full story.]

Through the Dust

Astrophotographer Stefan Muckenhuber sent in a photo of galaxies M81 (left) and M82, obtained in mid-2015 from Tirol, Austria. M81 (AKA Bode’s Galaxy), a spiral galaxy, lies about 12 million light-years away from Earth in the constellation of Ursa Major. M82 is also known as the Cigar Galaxy. Muckenhuber writes in an email message to Space.com: “I took this picture from a quite dark spot in … Tirol. I collected 16 hours of data and it also took me about 20 hours of processing until I was satisfied with the result. The exposure of 16 hours was necessary to bring out the faint Integrated Flux Nebula (IFN) … “ appearing as the gray dust in the image. He notes the IFN, which lies closer to us than the two galaxies, is made visible by the glow of stars in our Milky Way. [Read the full story.]

'Floating Spoon' on Mars Is Just a Weird Rock, But Still Awesome

NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

A so-called "floating spoon" on Mars spotted by NASA's Curiosity rover is cooking up a storm on the Internet, but it's actually a cool rock formation sculpted over tim by the Martian winds, officials with the space agency say. [Read the full story.]

'Star Wars' Celebration Takes Over Toys 'R' Us in NYC's Times Square

Calla Cofield/Space.com

At a toy store not so far away, Space.com sent one of its reporters to eat Wookie cookies, attend "Light Saber Academy," and meet the owner of the world's largest "Star Wars" memorabilia collection. [Read the full story.]

Powerful Rocket Launches Light Up the Skies Just Hours Apart

United Launch Alliance

Photos from the two rocket launches that took place early this morning. [Read the full story.]

Powerful Rocket Launches Light Up the Skies Just Hours Apart

ESA/S. Corvaja

Photos from the two rocket launches that took place early this morning. [Read the full story.]

Powerful Rocket Launches Light Up the Skies Just Hours Apart

ESA/S. Corvaja

Photos from the two rocket launches that took place early this morning. [Read the full story.]

Powerful Rocket Launches Light Up the Skies Just Hours Apart

United Launch Alliance

Photos from the two rocket launches that took place early this morning. [Read the full story.]

Prawn Nebula View Offers Stunning Glimpse of 'Cosmic Recycling' (Video)

ESO

- A spectacular new image of the Gum 56 nebula, also known as the Prawn nebula, captures the object recycling cosmic dust into new stars, according to the European Southern Observatory. [Read the full story.]

Our Galaxy's Heart Glows in Psychedelic X-Ray Light [

ESA/XMM-NEWTON/G. PONTI ET AL. 2015

Europe's XMM-Newton telescope took an X-ray scan of the Milky Way's core, capturing some dazzling high-energy delights. [Read the full story.]

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