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Stunning images from space

NASA's telescopes and spacecraft have captured images from our own solar system to the far reaches of the universe. From the Hubble Space Telescope to the Voyager and New Horizons probes, here are some of the best.

With Cassini's final descent set for Friday, Sept. 15, 2017, check out some of the images that spacecraft has sent home over the years. Search "Cassini" below.

Hurricane Harvey approaches Texas

Hurricane Harvey is shown in the Gulf of
Photo Credit: EPA

Hurricane Harvey is shown in the Gulf of Mexico in this satellite image released by NASA on Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017. Harvey is expected to become a Category 3 hurricane by the time it makes landfall near Corpus Christi, Texas, late Friday.

A splendid moon rise

This image of the moon, released on Aug.
Photo Credit: AFP / Getty Images / NASA

This image of the moon, released on Aug. 8, 2017, was taken by NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik on Aug. 3 from his vantage point in low Earth orbit aboard the International Space Station. Bresnik wrote, "Gorgeous moon rise! Such great detail when seen from space," as he looked forward to the total solar eclipse on Aug. 21.

Wonders captured by Hubble

This photo released by the European Space Agency
Photo Credit: AFP / Getty Images

This photo released by the European Space Agency on April 20, 2017, displays the galaxies NGC 4302, left, and NGC 4298, both located 55 million light years away.

They were observed by Hubble and shown to celebrate its 27th year in orbit. NGC 4298 is seen almost face-on, with its spiral arms and the blue patches of ongoing star formation and young stars. In the edge-on disc of NGC 4302, huge swathes of dust are responsible for the mottled brown patterns, but a burst of blue to the left side of the galaxy indicates a region of extremely vigorous star formation. The image is a mosaic of four separate captures from Hubble, taken between Jan. 2-22, 2017. Two different types of light emitted by the galaxies, visible and near-infrared, have also been combined to enhance the images.

Cassini captures Saturn's rings, icy moon

This Cassini image obtained from NASA shows the
Photo Credit: AFP / Getty Images

This Cassini image obtained from NASA shows the rings of Saturn and the icy moon Tethys on May 13, 2017. The view was acquired at a distance of about 750,000 miles from Saturn.

Saturn's moon Mimas dwarfed by rings

This undated photo made available by NASA shows
Photo Credit: AP

This undated photo made available by NASA shows one of Saturn's moons, Mimas, dwarfed by the planet's rings. Launched in 1997, Cassini reached Saturn in 2004 and has been exploring it from orbit ever since. With Cassini's fuel tank almost empty, NASA opted for a risky, but science-rich grand finale.

Passing view of Pan

This raw, unprocessed image released by NASA shows
Photo Credit: AFP Getty Images

This raw, unprocessed image released by NASA shows Saturn's tiny moon, Pan, on March 7, 2017, and was taken by NASA's Cassini spacecraft. The closest approach of the flyby was 15,268 miles. The image is the closest one ever taken of Pan and will help to characterize its shape and geology.

Mount Etna's smoke

In this aerial photo taken on March 3,
Photo Credit: AP / ESA / NASA / Thomas Pesquet

In this aerial photo taken on March 3, 2017, and made available on March 8, smoke billows from the Mount Etna volcano near Catania, Sicily.

The remains of a supernova, as seen by Hubble

The supernova remnant, called SN 1987A, is shown
Photo Credit: AFP / Getty Images

The supernova remnant, called SN 1987A, is shown in this photo taken by the Hubble Space Telescope in January 2017 and released by the European Space Agency and NASA on Feb. 24, 2017. Since its launch in 1990, Hubble has observed the expanding dust cloud of SN 1987A several times, helping astronomers create a better understanding of such cosmic explosions.

Cassini sees Saturn's shadow on its rings

This Feb. 3, 2017, image made available by
Photo Credit: AP

This Feb. 3, 2017, image made available by NASA shows Saturn's shadow on its rings as seen from the Cassini spacecraft. During its deliberate plunge on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017, Cassini will keep sampling Saturn's atmosphere and beaming back data, until the spacecraft loses control and its antenna no longer points toward Earth.

Incredible look at Mars' north polar ice cap

This view of Mars' north polar ice cap
Photo Credit: EPA

This view of Mars' north polar ice cap and its distinctive dark troughs in a spiral pattern is in a photo released by the European Space Agency on Feb. 2, 2017. The view is based on undated images taken by the ESA's Mars Express and was generated using elevation data from the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter on board NASA's Mars Global Surveyor mission.

One of Cassini's last full views of the planet it's studied

This image obtained from NASA shows one of
Photo Credit: AFP / Getty Images

This image obtained from NASA shows one of the last full views of Saturn by the Cassini spacecraft taken on Oct. 28, 2016. The view was acquired at a distance of about 870,000 miles.

This is Mercury

A NASA image obtained on Sept. 27, 2016,
Photo Credit: AFP Getty Images

A NASA image obtained on Sept. 27, 2016, from NASA's Messenger spacecraft reveals previously undetected land forms, called small fault scarps that resemble stairsteps on the planet Mercury. The fault scarps are small enough that scientists believe they must be geologically young, which means Mercury could still be contracting, and that Earth may not be the only tectonically active planet in our solar system.

Buongiorno, Italy

The southern tip of Italy is visible in
Photo Credit: AFP / Getty Images

The southern tip of Italy is visible in this image taken by the Expedition 49 crew aboard the International Space Station on Sept. 17, 2016. The NASA photo was obtained Sept. 21, 2016. The brightly lit city of Naples can be seen in the bottom section of the image.

Greenland glaciers flow into a fjord

The Brückner and Heim glaciers flow into Johan
Photo Credit: AFP Getty Images / Jeremy Harbeck

The Brückner and Heim glaciers flow into Johan Petersen Fjord in southeast Greenland on Sept. 2, 2016. Greenland's ice sheet is melting more than 7 percent faster than previously thought, according to a new study. Scientists said a hot spot beneath the Earth's crust was distorting their calculations. The study in the journal Science Advances raises concerns about the increasing impact of melting ice on sea level, since Greenland has the second-largest ice sheet in the world, after the one in Antarctica.

Hello, Jupiter

Jupiter's Great Red Spot and three of its
Photo Credit: AP / Juno

Jupiter's Great Red Spot and three of its four largest moons were captured in this July 10, 2016, image released by NASA that was taken by the Juno spacecraft five days after it arrived at Jupiter. Juno is on a 20-month mission to study Jupiter's poles, atmosphere and interior.

The heart of the Crab Nebula, in a time lapse

The very heart of the Crab Nebula, including
Photo Credit: AFP / Getty Images

The very heart of the Crab Nebula, including its central neutron star, is shown in this image from NASA and the European Space Agency. It is the rightmost of the two bright stars near the center of this image. The rapid motion of the material nearest the central star is revealed by the subtle rainbow of colors in this time-lapse image. There's a rainbow effect due to the movement of material over the time between one image and another.

Two planets and their red dwarf star parent

This artist's illustration released by NASA on July
Photo Credit: AFP / Getty Images

This artist's illustration released by NASA on July 20, 2016, shows two Earth-size planets, known as TRAPPIST-1b and TRAPPIST-1c, passing in front of their parent red dwarf star, which is much smaller and cooler than our sun.

Tracking Arctic sea ice

This NASA image released July 19, 2016, shows
Photo Credit: AFP / Getty Images

This NASA image released July 19, 2016, shows sea ice of the Arctic Ocean shrinking to below-average levels. This large pool of melt water over sea ice was seen from a NASA Operation IceBridge flight on July 14 over the Beaufort Sea, north of Alaska and the Yukon and Northwest territories in Canada.

Mercury on the move

The planet Mercury appears as a tiny black
Photo Credit: Getty Images / NASA / Bill Ingalls

The planet Mercury appears as a tiny black spot, bottom left, as it moves past the sun on Monday, May 9, 2016, as viewed from Boyertown, Pa. Mercury passes between Earth and the sun only about 13 times a century; the previous transit took place in 2006.

The planet Mercury appears as a tiny black
Photo Credit: EPA / NASA / Bill Ingalls

The planet Mercury appears as a tiny black spot, bottom left, as it moves past the sun on Monday, May 9, 2016, as seen from Boyertown, Pa.

In an image taken with special foil mounted
Photo Credit: EPA / Patrick Pleul

In an image taken with special foil mounted to the front of a 700-mm telephoto lens, the planet Mercury appears as a tiny black spot, bottom center, as it moves past the sun on Monday, May 9, 2016, as seen from Frankfurt (Oder), Germany. The silhouette of a plane trailed by its contrails is seen at top.

It's pretty hot here

The planet Mercury appears as a tiny black
Photo Credit: Getty Images

The planet Mercury appears as a tiny black spot, bottom left, as it moves past the sun on May 9, 2016, as seen from NASA headquarters in Washington, D.C.

This is Earth seen through infrared

This NOAA/NASA image released Friday, April 22, 2016,
Photo Credit: Getty Images

This NOAA/NASA image released Friday, April 22, 2016, shows planet Earth. The VIIRS sensor on the Suomi NPP satellite can see the world differently, with its 22 channels, each tuned to detect a different portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. This image uses near-infrared and shortwave infrared energy instead of the standard red, green, and blue light that the human eye has evolved to detect. By using infrared energy rather than visible light, the colors indicate differences in temperature rather than what they look like. For example, instead of appearing just white, clouds are shades of yellow, orange, and red depending on their elevation.

The southern lights

The aurora australis, or southern lights, are shown
Photo Credit: Getty Images / ESA

The aurora australis, or southern lights, are shown in this image taken by European Space Agency astronaut Tim Peake from the International Space Station on April 17, 2016. Peake was performing more than 30 scientific experiments and taking part in numerous others during his 6-month mission.

These are solar flares

This picture made available by NASA's Solar Dynamics
Photo Credit: EPA / NASA

This picture made available by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory on Thursday, April 21, 2016, shows a dramatic display of a round solar filament bursting out from the sun on March 13. Solar flares are powerful blasts of radiation from the sun when its magnetic fields burst and release energy.

Magnetic field lines over the sun

This photo made available by NASA's Solar Dynamics
Photo Credit: EPA / NASA

This photo made available by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory on Thursday, April 21, 2016, shows arches of magnetic field lines towering over the surface of the sun as a pair of active regions began to rotate into view in space on April 5. Active regions are intense areas of competing magnetic forces that are embedded below the sun's surface.

The Large Magellanic Cloud

A vast bubble in the Large Magellanic Cloud
Photo Credit: TNS / NASA

A vast bubble in the Large Magellanic Cloud was formed by the explosive death of one or more of the cluster of massive stars inside the bubble. Cosmic rays reaching Earth are created and accelerated by similar explosions.

Eye of the storm

The eye of Storm Katie is shown just
Photo Credit: Getty Images / NASA

The eye of Storm Katie is shown just off the southeast coast of Britain on Monday, March 28, 2016, after passing over southern England, bringing strong winds to the region and to northern France, in this composite satellite image retrieved from NASA's Earth Observing System Data and Information System.

The Arctic ice cap shrinks

This image provided by NASA shows Arctic sea
Photo Credit: AP

This image provided by NASA shows Arctic sea ice at its maximum -- the lowest on record. The winter maximum level of Arctic sea ice shrank to the smallest on record, thanks to extraordinarily warm temperatures, federal scientists said. The National Snow and Ice Data Center says sea ice spread to a maximum of 5.607 million square miles in 2016. That's 5,000 square miles less than the old record set in 2015, a difference slightly smaller than the state of Connecticut.

The center of the Milky Way

This infrared image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space
Photo Credit: Getty Images

This infrared image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope released on Thursday, March 31, 2016, shows the center of the Milky Way, 27,000 light-years away from Earth.

Can you guess which continent this is?

An image dated Tuesday, March 29, 2016, and
Photo Credit: EPA

An image dated Tuesday, March 29, 2016, and issued by NASA on March 30 shows the terrain of the western Australian coast during an International Space Station flyover of Australia. NASA astronaut Jeff Williams captured the colorful image of the coast.

Arriving at a far-away destination

In this image made from video provided by
Photo Credit: AP

In this image made from video provided by NASA, Orbital ATK's Cygnus cargo ship, top, approaches the International Space Station on Saturday, March 26, 2016. The cargo carrier was launched from Cape Canaveral, Fla., four days before.

An aurora captures the imagination

A glowing aurora is seen from the International
Photo Credit: EPA / Tim Peake

A glowing aurora is seen from the International Space Station in this stunning image shared by Expedition 46 flight engineer Tim Peake of the European Space Agency. It was taken Feb. 23, 2016, and released Feb. 24. The dancing lights of the aurora provide spectacular views on the ground, but also capture the imagination of scientists who study incoming energy and particles from the sun.

London's lights seen from space

This NASA image taken from the International Space
Photo Credit: Getty Images / NASA

This NASA image taken from the International Space Station Sept. 25, 2015, and released Feb. 22, 2016, shows much of London and its suburbs. Two of the characteristics that stand out at night are the progressively denser concentrations of lights and the change from yellower to whiter light toward the commercial center of the city.

NASA's Scott Kelly, while wrapping up his year
Photo Credit: Instagram user stationcdrkelly

NASA's Scott Kelly, while wrapping up his year in space, posted this throwback photo to Instagram on Tuesday, March 1, 2016, which he had captioned: "#MilkyWay. You're old, dusty, gassy and warped. But beautiful. Good night from @space_station! #YearInSpace."

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly posted this image to
Photo Credit: Instagram user stationcdrkelly

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly posted this image to Instagram Tuesday, March 1, 2016, with the following caption: #Countdown We're down to a wakeup. #Earth. I'm coming for you tomorrow! #GoodNight from @iss! #YearInSpace

Astronaut Scott Kelly posted this image of what
Photo Credit: Instagram user stationcdrkelly

Astronaut Scott Kelly posted this image of what he described as water to Instagram on Monday, Feb. 29, 2016, while nearing the end of his "Year in Space."

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly posted this photo of
Photo Credit: Instagram user stationcdrkelly

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly posted this photo of Earth to Instagram on Jan. 25, 2016, Day 304 of his "Year in Space."

Sending trash back to Earth

This photo taken from NASA TV shows a
Photo Credit: AP

This photo taken from NASA TV shows a capsule loaded with 1.5 tons of trash that was released from the International Space Station on Friday, Feb. 19, 2016. NASA supplier Orbital ATK launched the capsule, named Cygnus, to the space station in December, full of food, clothes and other goods. Astronauts removed the precious contents, then filled it with garbage for incineration. The spacecraft should re-enter the atmosphere and burn up harmlessly over the Pacific on Saturday.

Busy at work, outside the space station

Astronaut Terry Virts installs an antenna and boom
Photo Credit: AP

Astronaut Terry Virts installs an antenna and boom during a spacewalk outside the International Space Station in this March 1, 2015, image from a NASA video. On Friday, Feb. 19, 2016, NASA announced it received a record number of applicants -- some 18,300 -- for its next astronaut class. That's more than double the previous record of 8,000 for the first space shuttle astronaut class in 1978.

Planetary nebula spreads its wings

Spectacularly symmetrical wings of the planetary nebula Hen
Photo Credit: EPA / NASA

Spectacularly symmetrical wings of the planetary nebula Hen 2-437 appear in an icy blue hue in this undated image made available on Friday, Feb. 12, 2016. Hen 2-437 is one of around 3,000 such objects that have been discovered within the Milky Way.

Super Bowl 50 from the nosebleed seats

Astronaut Scott Kelly took this picture Sunday, Feb.
Photo Credit: EPA / NASA

Astronaut Scott Kelly took this picture Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016, of Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California, from the International Space Station, writing, "Got to see the #SuperBowl in person after all! But at 17,500MPH, it didn't last long. #YearInSpace"

The Mediterranean, from above

A space view of the Alps, Italy and
Photo Credit: EPA / Tim Peake

A space view of the Alps, Italy and the Mediterranean is seen in this image taken from the International Space Station on Jan. 25, 2016, and released by NASA the following day.

Curiosity Mars' self-portrait

NASA's Curiosity Mars rover is shown at
Photo Credit: Getty Images

NASA's Curiosity Mars rover is shown at "Namib Dune," where the rover's activities included scuffing into the dune with a wheel and scooping samples of sand for laboratory analysis, in a selfie obtained from NASA on Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016.

A snowy D.C. from space

The Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8
Photo Credit: AFP / Getty Images

The Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 captured this color image of Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C., on Jan. 24, 2016, a few days after a nor'easter dumped 18 to 40 inches of snow on the region.

A rare, massive galaxy cluster

The galaxy cluster called IDCS J1426.5+3508, or IDCS
Photo Credit: EPA / NASA

The galaxy cluster called IDCS J1426.5+3508, or IDCS 1426 for short, is shown -- with X-rays from the Chandra X-ray Observatory in blue, visible light from the Hubble Space Telescope in green, and infrared light from the Spitzer Space Telescope in red -- in this picture released by NASA on Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016. This rare galaxy cluster, which is 10 billion light years from Earth, weighs almost 500 trillion suns. The object has important implications for understanding how these mega-structures formed and evolved early in the universe. Astronomers have observed IDCS 1426 when the universe was less than a third of its current age. It is the most massive galaxy cluster detected at such an early age.

A rare find: A skinny black hole

This image provided by CU-Boulder shows the galaxy
Photo Credit: AP

This image provided by CU-Boulder shows the galaxy SDSS J1126+2944 taken with the Hubble Space Telescope and the Chandra X-ray Observatory, with an arrow placed by the source pointing to a black hole that lost most of its stars. The University of Colorado's Julie Comerford has discovered something even rarer than a double-black hole galaxy: a skinny black hole. Her findings were reported Tuesday, Jan 5, 2016, at the American Astronomical Society's annual meeting.

Another view of terra firma

A thick haze hovers over the Indo-Gangetic Plain,
Photo Credit: Getty Images / NASA

A thick haze hovers over the Indo-Gangetic Plain, from northern India, left, hugging the Himalayan range and down into the Bay of Bengal at bottom right, in this Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016, image from NASA's Terra satellite. Air quality in northern India traditionally worsens in winter as the cooler air and fog traps pollutants and people start lighting fires, coupled with year-round pollution causes such as vehicle traffic. NASA said the haze likely resulted from a "combination of urban and industrial pollution, agricultural and cooking fires, and a meteorological phenomenon known as a temperature inversion."

10 Jupiter exoplanets, as envisioned by an artist

An image released by the European Space Agency
Photo Credit: AFP / Getty Images

An image released by the European Space Agency and NASA on Dec. 9, 2015, shows an artist's impression of the 10 hot Jupiter exoplanets, from top left, clockwise, WASP-12b, WASP-6b, WASP-31b, WASP-39b, HD 189733b, HAT-P-12b, WASP-17b, WASP-19b, HAT-P-1b and HD 209458b, studied by David Sing and his colleagues. The images are to scale with each other. HAT-P-12b, the smallest of them, is approximately the size of Jupiter, while WASP-17b, the largest planet in the sample, is almost twice the size. The planets are also depicted with a variety of different cloud properties. There is almost no information about the colors of the planets available, with the exception of HD 189733b, which became known as the blue planet. The hottest planets within the sample are portrayed with a glowing night side. This effect is strongest on WASP-12b, the hottest exoplanet in the sample, but is also visible on WASP-19b and WASP-17b.

Our home, seen in orbit around the moon

This NASA image released Friday, Dec. 18, 2015,
Photo Credit: AFP / Getty Images

This NASA image released Friday, Dec. 18, 2015, shows what NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter recently captured in a view of Earth from the spacecraft's vantage point in orbit around the moon. In this composite image we see Earth appear to rise over the lunar horizon from the viewpoint of the spacecraft, with the center of the Earth just off the coast of Liberia. The large tan area in the upper right is the Sahara Desert, and just beyond is Saudi Arabia. The Atlantic and Pacific coasts of South America are visible to the left. On the moon, we get a glimpse of the crater Compton, which is located just beyond the eastern limb of the moon, on the lunar farside. This image was composed from a series of images taken Oct. 12 when the orbiter was about 83 miles above the crater Compton.

Saturn's moon Enceladus

This Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015, image provided by
Photo Credit: AP

This Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015, image provided by NASA shows Saturn's moon Enceladus, center, as the Cassini spacecraft prepared to make a close flyby of the icy moon. A portion of the planet's ring is at right.

Long, linear features on Enceladus

The moon Enceladus orbits the planet Saturn in
Photo Credit: AP

The moon Enceladus orbits the planet Saturn in this July 27, 2015, photo made by the Cassini spacecraft. To the north, top, the terrain is covered in impact craters, much like other icy moons, but to the south, the record of impact cratering is much more sparse, and instead the land is covered in fractures and long, linear features. The image was taken in visible green light at a distance of about 70,000 miles from Enceladus.

A full rotation of Charon

This photo taken by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft
Photo Credit: AP

This photo taken by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft shows images of Charon, the largest of Pluto's five moons, representing one full rotation during an unprecedented flyby in July 2015. The space agency released the series of 10 close-ups on Nov. 20, 2015. Charon, like Pluto, rotates once every 6.4 Earth days.

Aurora over Earth

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly captured views of the
Photo Credit: NASA

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly captured views of the aurora borealis over Earth while aboard the International Space Station on Saturday, Aug. 15, 2015.

New insights from Mars

Recurring slope lineae flowing downhill on Mars are
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Recurring slope lineae flowing downhill on Mars are inferred to have been formed by contemporary flowing water, scientists said on Monday, Sept. 28, 2015.

New Horizons over Pluto

NASA's New Horizons spacecraft captured this image of
Photo Credit: NASA / JHUAPL / SwRI

NASA's New Horizons spacecraft captured this image of Pluto's icy mountains and plains on Tuesday, July 14, 2015.

Nile River from space

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly photographed the Nile River
Photo Credit: NASA

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly photographed the Nile River during a nighttime flyover aboard the International Space Station on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015.

Veil Nebula

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has unveiled part of
Photo Credit: NASA / ESA / Hubble Heritage Team

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has unveiled part of the Veil Nebula, the remains of a massive star that exploded about 8,000 years ago.

Dwarfed by the sun

This July 15, 2015, image made available by
Photo Credit: AP

This July 15, 2015, image made available by NASA on Friday, July 24, 2015, shows the atmosphere of Pluto backlit by the sun when the New Horizons spacecraft was about 1.25 million miles away. The image, delivered to Earth on Thursday, is displayed with north at the top of the frame.

Historic, up-close look at Pluto

This Monday, July 13, 2015, image provided by
Photo Credit: AP

This Monday, July 13, 2015, image provided by NASA shows Pluto from the New Horizons spacecraft. The United States is now the only nation to visit every planet in the solar system. Pluto was No. 9 in the lineup when New Horizons departed Cape Canaveral, Fla., on Jan. 19, 2006.

Kepler-452b

This artist's rendering released by NASA on Thursday,
Photo Credit: AP

This artist's rendering released by NASA on Thursday, July 23, 2015, shows a comparison of the Earth, left, and the planet Kepler-452b. It is the first near-Earth-size planet orbiting in the habitable zone of a sun-like star, found using data from NASA's Kepler mission. The illustration represents one possible appearance for the exoplanet -- scientists do not know whether the it has oceans and continents like Earth.

Sunlit Earth

NASA on Monday, July 20, 2015, released this
Photo Credit: EPA / NASA

NASA on Monday, July 20, 2015, released this photo of the entire sunlit side of Earth as seen from 1 million miles away. The July 6 image was taken by a NASA camera on the Deep Space Climate Observatory satellite. NASA's Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera combined three photos to generate this image of North and Central America.

The Rosetta mission

This photo was taken by an instrument on
Photo Credit: AP / European Space Agency

This photo was taken by an instrument on Rosetta's Philae lander during its descent to the 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014. Hundreds of millions of miles from Earth, the European spacecraft made history Wednesday by successfully landing on the icy, dusty surface of a speeding comet.

Crab Nebula

This image made by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space
Photo Credit: AP

This image made by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows the entire Crab Nebula.

Horsehead Nebula

This image shows Barnard 33, the Horsehead Nebula,
Photo Credit: AP

This image shows Barnard 33, the Horsehead Nebula, in the constellation of Orion (The Hunter).

Messier 57, the Ring Nebula

This image shows Messier 57, the Ring Nebula.
Photo Credit: AP

This image shows Messier 57, the Ring Nebula.

'Butterfly Nebula'

This image shows jets of gas heated to
Photo Credit: AP

This image shows jets of gas heated to nearly 20,000 degrees Celsius traveling at more than 590,000 mph streaming from the dying star NGC 6302, the "Butterfly Nebula" in the Milky Way galaxy.

Monkey Head Nebula

This infrared image shows part of NGC 2174,
Photo Credit: AP

This infrared image shows part of NGC 2174, the Monkey Head Nebula.

NGC 1300

This image shows the barred spiral galaxy NGC
Photo Credit: AP

This image shows the barred spiral galaxy NGC 1300. It is considered to be prototypical of barred spiral galaxies.

Cat's Eye Nebula

This image shows NGC 6543, the Cat's Eye
Photo Credit: AP

This image shows NGC 6543, the Cat's Eye Nebula. A planetary nebula forms when sun-like stars gently eject their outer gaseous layers that form bright nebulae.

NGC 4526

This image shows NGC 4526. One of the
Photo Credit: AP

This image shows NGC 4526. One of the brightest lenticular galaxies known, it has hosted two known supernova explosions, one in 1969 and another in 1994, and is known to have a supermassive black hole at its center with a mass of 450 million suns.

This image shows the Orion Nebula and the
Photo Credit: AP

This image shows the Orion Nebula and the process of star formation, from the massive, young stars that are shaping the nebula to the pillars of dense gas that may be the homes of budding stars.

Pismis 24

This image shows the star cluster Pismis 24
Photo Credit: AP

This image shows the star cluster Pismis 24 in the core of the large emission nebula NGC 6357. Part of the nebula is ionized by the youngest (bluest) heavy stars emitting intense ultraviolet radiation, heating the gas surrounding the cluster and creating a bubble in NGC 6357.

Cassiopeia A

This image shows the tattered remains of a
Photo Credit: AP

This image shows the tattered remains of a supernova explosion known as Cassiopeia A. It is the youngest known remnant from a supernova explosion in the Milky Way.

Whirlpool Galaxy

This January 2005 image made by the NASA/ESA
Photo Credit: AP

This January 2005 image made by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows the Whirlpool Galaxy (M51) and a companion galaxy. The Whirlpool's two curving arms are star-formation factories, compressing hydrogen gas and creating clusters of new stars.

Deep Space

This image shows nearly 10,000 galaxies in the
Photo Credit: AP

This image shows nearly 10,000 galaxies in the deepest visible-light image of the cosmos, cutting across billions of light-years.

Eagle Nebula

This image shows a tower of cold gas
Photo Credit: AP

This image shows a tower of cold gas and dust rising from a stellar nursery called the Eagle Nebula. The soaring tower is 9.5 light-years high, about twice the distance from our sun to the next nearest star.

UGC 10214

This image shows galaxy UGC 10214 with a
Photo Credit: AP

This image shows galaxy UGC 10214 with a long streamer of stars. Its distorted shape was caused by another galaxy passing nearby.

Dark interstellar cloud being destroyed

This image shows the tendrils of a dark
Photo Credit: AP

This image shows the tendrils of a dark interstellar cloud being destroyed by the passage of one of the brightest stars in the Pleiades star cluster.

'Pillars of Creation'

This image shows the Eagle Nebula's
Photo Credit: AP

This image shows the Eagle Nebula's "Pillars of Creation." The dust and gas in the pillars is seared by the intense radiation from young stars and eroded by strong winds from massive nearby stars.

Stephan's Quintet

This image shows a group of five galaxies
Photo Credit: AP

This image shows a group of five galaxies known as Stephan's Quintet.

Abell 1703

This image shows Abell 1703, comprising more than
Photo Credit: AP

This image shows Abell 1703, comprising more than 100 different galaxies whose collective mass acts as a gravitational lens. The massive galaxy cluster, about 3 billion light-years from Earth, bends the light rays of galaxies behind it, stretching their images into multiple arcs.

Carina Nebula

This image shows the tip of the 3-light-year-long
Photo Credit: AP

This image shows the tip of the 3-light-year-long pillar in a stellar nursery called the Carina Nebula, located 7,500 light-years away from Earth. Composed of gas and dust, the structure is illuminated by light from hot, massive stars off the top of the image.

M66 galaxy

This image shows M66, the largest of the
Photo Credit: AP

This image shows M66, the largest of the Leo Triplet galaxies. It has asymmetrical spiral arms and an apparently displaced core most likely caused by the gravitational pull of the other two members of the trio.

Carina Nebula

This February 2010 image made by the NASA/ESA
Photo Credit: AP

This February 2010 image made by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows a 3-light-year-tall pillar of gas and dust in the Carina Nebula being eaten away by light from nearby bright stars. Inside, infant stars fire off jets of gas, seen streaming from towering peaks. The colors signal the presence of oxygen (blue), hydrogen and nitrogen (green), and sulfur (red).

'Butterfly Nebula'

This image shows jets of gas heated to
Photo Credit: AP

This image shows jets of gas heated to nearly 20,000 degrees Celsius traveling at more than 590,000 mph streaming from the dying star NGC 6302, the "Butterfly Nebula" in the Milky Way galaxy.

Andromeda galaxy

A cropped photo captured with the NASA/ESA Hubble
Photo Credit: Getty Images / J. Dalcanton, University of Washington

A cropped photo captured with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and released on Jan. 6, 2015, shows the largest and sharpest image ever taken of the Andromeda galaxy.

Antennae galaxies collide

The Antennae galaxies collide, creating billions of new
Photo Credit: NASA / ESA

The Antennae galaxies collide, creating billions of new stars, in this Hubble Space Telescope image.

VdB 152

This image shows nebula VdB 152, which is
Photo Credit: Getty Images / NASA

This image shows nebula VdB 152, which is nearly 1,400 light-years away in the royal constellation Cepheus.

Sombrero Galaxy

The Hubble Space Telescope photographs Messier 104 (M104),
Photo Credit: NASA/ESA

The Hubble Space Telescope photographs Messier 104 (M104), the Sombrero Galaxy, from 50 million light-years away.

'Pillars of Creation'

These pillar-like structures are columns of cool interstellar
Photo Credit: NASA/ESA

These pillar-like structures are columns of cool interstellar hydrogen gas and dust that are incubators for new stars.

eXtreme Deep Field

The Hubble eXtreme Deep Field image is the
Photo Credit: NASA/ESA

The Hubble eXtreme Deep Field image is the deepest image of the universe ever produced, revealing about 5,500 galaxies and several of the most distant objects ever identified.

Saturn and moons

The Hubble Space Telescope captures the giant orange
Photo Credit: NASA/ESA

The Hubble Space Telescope captures the giant orange moon Titan and white icy moons Enceladus, Dione and Mimas passing in front of Saturn.

Milky Way

The Milky Way and other galaxies in the
Photo Credit: AFP PHOTO / NASA

The Milky Way and other galaxies in the universe harbor many young star clusters and associations that each contain hundreds to thousands of hot, massive, young stars.

Moon's north polar region

NASA on March 18, 2014, released this photo,
Photo Credit: NASA

NASA on March 18, 2014, released this photo, described as the largest high-resolution mosaic of our moon's north polar region ever created by scientists, using cameras aboard NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. The images, which are six-and-a-half feet per pixel, cover an area equal to more than a quarter of the United States.

SpaceX Dragon

In this image provided by NASA, the SpaceX
Photo Credit: AP

In this image provided by NASA, the SpaceX Dragon commercial cargo craft is grappled by the Canadarm2 robotic arm at the International Space Station.

R Sculptoris

This undated image downloaded from the Atacama Large
Photo Credit: AP

This undated image downloaded from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) website shows a never-before-seen spiral structure in the material around the old star, R Sculptoris.

NGC 6362

This handout image by the European Southern Observatory
Photo Credit: AFP PHOTO / ESO

This handout image by the European Southern Observatory (ESO) shows the globular cluster NGC 6362, a brilliant ball of ancient stars that lies in the southern constellation of Ara.

Apollo 11

Eagle, the Apollo 11 lunar lander and first
Photo Credit: NASA

Eagle, the Apollo 11 lunar lander and first to land on the moon, in orbit after separating from the command module, Columbia.

Jupiter

Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system
Photo Credit: NASA / JPL / University of Arizona

Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system -- larger than all the other planets combined -- photographed by NASA's Cassini spacecraft with moon Europa casting a shadow.

Jupiter's Great Red Spot

Jupiter's Great Red Spot, a storm 2-3 times
Photo Credit: NASA/JPL

Jupiter's Great Red Spot, a storm 2-3 times larger than the Earth itself, as seen from the Voyager 1 spacecraft.

Sunset on Mars

The sun sets on Gusev crater, as seen
Photo Credit: NASA/JPL/Texas A&M/Cornell

The sun sets on Gusev crater, as seen from NASA's Spirit Rover on Mars.

Earth

The Blue Marble Earth montage, created over four
Photo Credit: NASA

The Blue Marble Earth montage, created over four orbits around the Earth by the Suomi NPP satellite.

Io, Jupiter's moon

This undated image by the Voyager 1 spacecraft
Photo Credit: NASA/JPL

This undated image by the Voyager 1 spacecraft demonstrates the extreme volcanic activity of Jupiter's moon, Io, the most volcanically active object in the solar system and fourth-largest moon.

Crab Nebula

The Crab Nebula, photographed by the Very Large
Photo Credit: NASA

The Crab Nebula, photographed by the Very Large Telescope in Chile, is the result of a star that Chinese and possibly Indian astronomers observed exploding in 1054 A.D.

Vesta

An undated image of the asteroid Vesta taken
Photo Credit: AP

An undated image of the asteroid Vesta taken by NASA's Dawn spacecraft.

Sun's corona

A piece of the sun's outer layer, the
Photo Credit: NASA/GSFC/SDO

A piece of the sun's outer layer, the corona, ejects into space.

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