Thousands of sparkling young stars are nestled within the giant nebula NGC 3603. This stellar "jewel box" is one of the most massive young star clusters in the Milky Way Galaxy. NGC 3603 is a prominent star-forming region in the Carina spiral arm of the Milky Way, about 20,000 light-years away. This latest image from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope shows a young star cluster surrounded by a vast region of dust and gas. NASA/ESA/Hubble Heritage/STScI/AURA
In the cold vacuum of space, radiation from massive stars carves away at cold molecular clouds, creating bizarre, fantasy-like structures. These pillars of cold hydrogen and dust, imaged by the Hubble Space Telescope, are located in the Carina Nebula. Violent stellar winds and powerful radiation from massive stars sculpt the surrounding nebula. NASA/ESA/Hubble Heritage
Lights covering the fixed service structure on Launch Pad 39A cast their glow over space shuttle Atlantis in 2009. The shuttle waits the arrival of the payload canister with its cargo of Hubble Space Telescope equipment. The payload will be transferred into Atlantis' payload bay for the 11-day STS-125 mission to service the Hubble Telescope. NASA/Kim Shiflett
The distant Omega Nebula star forming region was discovered by Philippe Loys de Chéseaux in 1745. This photo was taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. NASA/H. Ford/JHU/G. Illingworth/UCSC/LO/M.Clampin/STScI/G. Hartig/ACS Science Team/ESA
These gigantic, tadpole-shaped objects are probably the result of a dying star's last gasps. Dubbed "cometary knots" because their glowing heads and gossamer tails resemble comets, the gaseous objects probably were formed during a star's final stages of life. Hubble astronomer C. Robert O'Dell and graduate student Kerry P. Handron of Rice University in Houston, Texas discovered thousands of these knots with the Hubble Space Telescope while exploring the Helix nebula, the closest planetary nebula to Earth. C. Robert O'Dell/Kerry P. Handron/Rice University/NASA
A last quarter crescent moon above Earth's horizon is featured in this image photographed by the Expedition 24 crew on the International Space Station. NASA
An astronaut removes the High Resolution Spectrograph in preparation for a new instrument during the second Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission in 1997. NASA
In this artist's conception, we peer through the dark dust of L1014 to witness the birth of a star. NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has detected a faint, warm object inside the apparently starless core of a small, dense molecular cloud. If, as astronomers suspect, there is a young star deep inside the dusty core, it would have a structure similar to this illustration. NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Hurt (SSC)
Astronaut Eugene A. Cernan, Apollo 17 commander, stands beside the lunar roving vehicle (LRV) during the third extravehicular activity (EVA-3) at the Taurus-Littrow landing site on the moon in 1972. Astronaut Harrison H. Schmitt, mission lunar module pilot, took the photograph. Notice the LRV's hi-gain antenna in the right foreground. NASA
This illustration compares the size of a gargantuan star and its surrounding dusty disk (top) to that of our solar system. Monstrous disks like this one were discovered around two "hypergiant" stars by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. Astronomers believe these disks might contain the early "seeds" of planets, or possibly leftover debris from planets that already formed. The hypergiant stars, called R 66 and R 126, are located about 170,000 light-years away in our Milky Way's nearest neighbor galaxy, the Large Magellanic Cloud. NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Hurt (SSC)
At least 70 homes were buried and another 158 hit by a landslide in Ambegaon, a village in India's Maharashtra state. Rescue workers say at least 18 were killed, and seven injured people have been rescued.
ByMuneeza Naqvi, Associated Press
Torrential rains triggered a massive landslide that buried a remote village in western India on Wednesday, killing at least 18 people as it swept away scores of houses and possibly trapping many more people under debris, officials said.