Best Space Photos of the Week

A mosaic image of our Milky Way galaxy created over the course of nearly 12 years.

See Astonishing Milky Way Mosaic Image That Took 12 Years to Create

A Finnish astrophotographer created the 1.7 gigapixel image by stitching together photos with a total exposure time of roughly 1,250 hours

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Best Space Photos of the Week

See a Bubbly Nebula, an Artistic Earth and Other Spacey Treats

A celebratory star nest and a painterly view of home feature among our picks for this week's best space pictures

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Best Space Photos of the Week

Dark Globs, a Salty Moon and More of This Week's Stellar Wonders

Mysterious star clusters and Europa in a can feature in our picks for this week's best space images

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Best Space Photos of the Week

A Lopsided Supernova, Orbital Espresso and More Cosmic Wonders

An exploding star reveals its secrets and an astronaut takes a coffee break in this week's best space pictures

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Best Space Photos of the Week

An Einstein Ring and an Asteroid "Dart" Are Among These Space Stunners

A lensed galaxy and a mission to manipulate a space rock feature among our picks for this week's best space images

Best Space Photos of the Week

An Easter Typhoon and Galactic Ghosts Are Among These Spacey Visions

Astronauts spy a colossal eye and Hubble sees echoes of quasars past in our picks for the week's best space images

Best Space Photos of the Week

A Rocket Blessing and a Cubist Planet Are Among These Celestial Sights

Russia sends off the one-year crew and a Saturn probe gets artistic in our picks for this week's best space-related pictures

Best Space Photos of the Week

A Rainbow Eclipse and X-Ray Fireworks Are Among These Cosmic Treats

A solar eclipse painted the cloudy U.K. skies and an explosion rocked a stellar corpse in our picks for this week's best space images

Best Space Photos of the Week

A Solar Flare and a Volcano Blizzard Are Among These Stellar Shots

An X-class explosion and a snowy satellite image feature among our picks for the week's best space images

Best Space Photos of the Week

These Cosmic Visions Include a Mars Ocean and a Supernova Quartet

The red planet's deep blue sea and a rare Einstein cross feature among the week's best space images

Best Space Photos of the Week

These Cosmic Eye-Poppers Include a Technicolor Comet and an Impossible Black Hole

An ancient monster and a turquoise bay feature among our picks for the week's best space pictures

Best Space Photos of the Week

These Stellar Wonders Include a Red Aurora and a Billowing Black Hole

A light show over Montana and an eruption snapped by a satellite feature among our picks for the week's best space images

Best Space Photos of the Week

These Spacey Treats Include a Galactic Smiley Face and an Interstellar Rose

A lucky lens and a pair of mismatched star twins feature among our picks for the week's best space images

Best Space Photos of the Week

These Cosmic Visions Include a Moon Parade and a Naked Nebula

Jovian giants and newly seen stars are among our picks for the week's best space-related images

Best Space Photos of the Week

Cosmic Jaw-Droppers Include a Twisted Galaxy and an Aurora Rocket Volley

From Martian vistas to glowing red nebulae, check out our picks for the best space images of the week

A multihued aurora ripples across the night sky over Tromsø, Norway, on January 19. Auroras happen when high-energy particles from the sun slam into Earth's atmosphere, exciting gas molecules in the air and causing them to emit light. The colors seen depend on the type of molecules involved and the altitude at which the most interactions are happening. Green is the most common shade for auroras and is produced by oxygen molecules at relatively low altitudes—between 62 and 186 miles.

Best Space Photos of the Week

These Celestial Highlights Include Flowing Auroras and a Cracked Comet

Catch up on the week's best space images, from a cyclone's glowing eye to a surreal Martian vista

Ten years ago this week, the Huygens probe gave scientists a first look at the icy surface beneath the haze of Saturn's moon Titan.

Best Space Photos of the Week

Best Space Photos of the Week: From Solar Flares to Saturn's Moons

A spitting sun, a well-loved lake and a happy accident on Mars star in this week's best space images

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