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Best Space Photos of the Week – Sept. 12, 2015

Pluto: More Than Expected

NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

New images beamed down from NASA's New Horizons spacecraft show a stunning variety of complicated surface features on Pluto. [Read the whole story.]

Across the Universe

NASA/Bill Ingalls

An outstanding new image shows the International Space Station crossing the sun's face. [Read the whole story.]

Newborns' nursery

Alma Observatory

A newfound hourglass structure reveals the presence of at least two, if not more, high-mass stars in a cloud of gas and dust. [Read the whole story.]

Moon over medieval castle

Miguel Claro Night Sky Photography/ www.miguelclaro.com

An epic moon hangs over the medieval village Monsaraz, in Portugal, in a new twilight photograph. [Read the whole story.]

Dazzling auroras

Scott Kelly (via Twitter as @StationCDRKelly)

As a Labor Day gift, Scott Kelly released beautiful photos and video of the effects of a solar storm yesterday on Earth. [Read the whole story.]

A massive tornado

Solar Dynamics Observatory, NASA

A giant, swirling plume of superheated plasma churned above the surface of the sun for 40 hours last week while a NASA spacecraft looked on. [Read the whole story.]

Successfully launched

Firefly Space Systems

A company that aims to launch small satellites to orbit has successfully tested its first rocket engine. [Read the whole story.]

Water on Mars

American Geophysical Union

A giant slab of ice as big as California and Texas combined lurks just beneath the surface of Mars between its equator and north pole, researchers say. [Read the whole story.]

Changes visualized

Guinness World Records

A new image from the Guinnes World Records publishers presents the evolution of spaceships to the world. [Read the whole story.]

With great powers...

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert/CBS

Elon Musk appeared on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" to talk about dropping nuclear bombs on Mars, the future of rocket travel, and a creepy, snakelike robot for electric-car owners. [Read the whole story.]

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Space.com Staff

Space.com is the premier source of space exploration, innovation and astronomy news, chronicling (and celebrating) humanity's ongoing expansion across the final frontier. Originally founded in 1999, Space.com is, and always has been, the passion of writers and editors who are space fans and also trained journalists. Our current news team consists of Editor-in-Chief Tariq Malik; Editor Hanneke Weitering, Senior Space Writer Mike Wall; Senior Writer Meghan Bartels; Senior Writer Chelsea Gohd, Senior Writer Tereza Pultarova and Staff Writer Alexander Cox. Senior Producer Steve Spaleta oversees our space videos, with Kim Hickock as our Reference Editor and Diana Whitcroft as our Social Media Editor.