This majestic view taken by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope tells an untold story of life and death in the Eagle nebula, an industrious star-making factory located 7,000 light-years away in the Serpens constellation. The image shows the region's entire network of turbulent clouds and newborn stars in infrared light. The color green denotes cooler towers and fields of dust. Red represents hotter dust thought to have been warmed by the explosion of a massive star about 8,000 to 9,000 years ago. NASA/JPL-Caltech/STS cI/ Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale
In its first glimpse of the heavens following the successful December 1999 servicing mission, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope captured a majestic view of a planetary nebula, the glowing remains of a dying, Sun-like star. This stellar relic, first spied by William Herschel in 1787, is nicknamed the "Eskimo" Nebula (NGC 2392) because, when viewed through ground-based telescopes, it resembles a face surrounded by a fur parka. NASA
While anchored to a foot restraint on the end of the Orbiter Boom Sensor System, astronaut Scott Parazynski, STS-120 mission specialist, assesses his repair work as the solar array is fully deployed during the mission's fourth session of extravehicular activity while Space Shuttle Discovery is docked with the International Space Station. NASA
Recent Cassini images of Saturn's moon Enceladus backlit by the sun show the fountain-like sources of the fine spray of material that towers over the south polar region. NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
This artist concept illustrates how a massive collision of objects, perhaps as large as the dwarf planet Pluto, smashed together to create the dust ring around the nearby star Vega. New observations from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope indicate the collision took place within the last one million years. Astronomers think that embryonic planets smashed together, shattered into pieces, and repeatedly crashed into other fragments to create ever finer debris. NASA/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle (SSC)
Approximately 120 miles above the Martian surface, a nuclear thermal propulsion transfer vehicle and the ascent stage of a two-stage Mars lander prepare to rendezvous in this concept painting by Pat Rawlings. The vehicle's nuclear reactors also serve as the primary onboard electrical power source with solar arrays providing backup power. Looming behind the spacecraft, the enormous shield volcano, Ascraeus Mons, rises through early morning clouds with the caldera at its peak eventually reaching above Mars' tenuous atmosphere. Pat Rawlings/SAIC/NASA
Launched on July 26, 2005 from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, STS-114 was classified as Logistics Flight 1. Among the Station-related activities of the mission were the delivery of new supplies and the replacement of one of the orbital outpost's Control Moment Gyroscopes. NASA
This artist's concept depicts the pulsar planet system discovered by Aleksander Wolszczan in 1992. Wolszczan used the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico to find three planets - the first of any kind ever found outside our solar system - circling a pulsar called PSR B1257+12. Pulsars are rapidly rotating neutron stars, which are the collapsed cores of exploded massive stars. NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Hurt (SSC)
This image is one of the largest panoramic images ever taken with Hubble's cameras. It is a 50-light-year-wide view of the central region of the Carina Nebula where a maelstrom of star birth — and death — is taking place. This image is a mosaic of the Carina Nebula assembled from 48 frames taken with Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys. NASA/ESA/N. Smith/University of California/The Hubble Heritage/STScI/AURA
This artist's concept illustrates one possible answer to the puzzle of the "giant galactic blobs." These blobs (red), first identified about five years ago, are mammoth clouds of intensely glowing material that surround distant galaxies (white). Astronomers using visible-light telescopes can see the glow of the blobs, but they didn't know what provides the energy to light them up. NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Hurt (SSC)
On Friday Spain's Catalonia region voted to give their leader the power to call a secession referendum. Inspired by Scotland's vote on indpendence, European separatists are seeking the same chance.
ByAlan Clendenning and Joseph Wilson, Associated Press
Despite Scotland's decision to reject independence, lawmakers in Spain's Catalonia region voted overwhelmingly Friday to give their leader the power to call a secession referendum that the central government in Madrid has denounced as illegal.