Best Space Photos of the Week – Oct. 17, 2015

North Pole of Saturn's Icy Moon Enceladus Captured in Best-Ever Photos

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

NASA's Cassini spacecraft has captured its best-ever looks at the north polar region of Saturn's ocean-harboring moon, Enceladus. [Read the full story.]

Giant 'Hole' in Sun Is 50 Earths Wide

NASA/SDO

The sun has sprung a leak: a hole in the top-most layer of the sun and its magnetic field, the size of 50 Earths, is letting loose an ultra-fast solar wind that has kicked off several nights of auroras down on Earth. [Read the full story.]

Two Small Pluto Moons Get Their Close-Ups (Photos)

NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI

The most jaw-dropping photos captured by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft during its July Pluto flyby depict the dwarf planet or its largest moon, Charon. But newly released images suggest that Pluto's four tiny moons are plenty interesting, too. [Read the full story.]

Golden Meteor Streaks Across the Milky Way Amazing Photo

A three-hour drive provided an amazing shot of a dazzling meteor for one dedicated astrophotographer. Photographer Thomas Milan took this image of a meteor among the Milky Way stars from Castlepoint, one of his favorite dark sky locations in New Zealand. The photo was captured during the annual Perseid meteor shower in August. [Read the full story.]

Mars' Mysterious South Pole Revealed in New Photo

ESA/DLR/FU Berlin, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

An unusual photo from the ESA’s Mars Exploration mission shows Mars’ South Pole. BRABAW (Wednesday, September 16). [Read the full story.]

Colliding Galaxies Shock Particle Cloud Back to Life

X-ray: NASA/CXC/Univ of Hamburg/F. de Gasperin et al; Optical: SDSS; Radio: NRAO/VLA

Data from the Chandra Observatory suggests a fading electron cloud came back to life after two galaxy clusters collided. [Read the full story.]

Stars and Oil: Milky Way Shines Over Texas Oilfield (Photo)

Matt Smith

The Milky Way illuminates a pump jack working at night in Texas. While oil fields through the state are well lit, this landscape shot captures the spectacular night sky. [Read the full story.]

Inky Coalsack Nebula Smudges Milky Way in Striking New Views

ESO

A new view of the nebula highlights dark dust against a brilliant field of stars. [Read the full story.]

Amazing Jupiter Video Shows Slowing Shrinkage of the Great Red Spot

NASA, ESA, A. Simon (GSFC), M. Wong (UC Berkeley), and G. Orton (JPL-Caltech)

Jupiter's trademark Great Red Spot may be shrinking, but it's not going down without a fight. Amazing new maps of the Jupiter by the Hubble Space Telescope reveal that the Great Red Spot, a massive storm about twice the diameter of Earth, is slowing the speed at which it shrinks. The Jupiter maps, first in series of annual portraits of the outer planets, also reveal rare wave structures that scientists haven't seen for nearly 40 years. [Read the full story.]

Comet's Close Encounter with Mars Dumped Tons of Dust on Red Planet

NASA, ESA, J.-Y. Li (PSI), C.M. Lisse (JHU/APL), and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

The Mars flyby of Comet Siding Spring in 2014 was a watershed moment for comet science. Here’s what happened. [Read the full story.]

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