The surface of the sun is shown in ultraviolet light. Even the relatively cool, dark regions have temperatures of thousands of degrees. NASA/TRACE
Trailing a thick column of exhaust, the Space Shuttle Columbia blasted into the twilight morning sky in 2002, its thundering rockets briefly flooding a cloud bank with the light of a false dawn. The event marked the start of the ongoing eleven day mission to upgrade the Hubble Space Telescope. The shuttle would later be burned up on re-entry in a tragic 2003 accident, killing all seven of its crew. KSC/NASA
For reasons unknown, NGC 6357 is forming some of the most massive stars ever discovered. Near the more obvious Cat's Paw nebula, NGC 6357 houses the open star cluster Pismis 24, home to these tremendously bright and blue stars. The overall red glow near the inner star forming region results from the emission of ionized hydrogen gas. Davide De Martin/ESA/Hubble/ESA/ESO/NASA
NASA's personal airplane concept, the Puffin, was conjured up by the mind of aerospace engineer Mark Moore. The unusual looking, vertical take-off and landing tailsitter is only an idea, but you'd never know that from the attention the Puffin has gotten on the Internet. NASA
This artist's concept depicts a supermassive black hole at the center of a galaxy. NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer found evidence that black holes, once they grow to a critical size, stifle the formation of new stars in elliptical galaxies. Black holes are thought to do this by heating up and blasting away the gas that fuels star formation. NASA/JPL-Caltech
Astronaut Story Musgrave, anchored to the end of the remote manipulator arm, prepares to be elevated to the top of the towering Hubble Space Telescope to install protective covers on magnetometers. Astronaut Jeffrey Hoffman assisted Musgrave with the final servicing tasks. NASA
This artist's concept shows what a fiery hot star and its close-knit planetary companion might look close up if viewed in visible and infrared light. In visible light, a star shines brilliantly, overwhelming the little light that is reflected by its planet. In infrared, a star is less blinding, and its planet perks up with a fiery glow. Astronomers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope took advantage of this fact to directly capture the infrared light of two previously detected planets orbiting outside our solar system. NASA/JPL-Caltech
Moderately bright Zubenelgenubi is the star just off the upper right hand limb of an eclipsed Moon in this telescopic view from Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Actually the second brightest star in the constellation Libra, Zubenelgenubi is fun to pronounce (zoo-BEN-al-je-NEW-be) and rewarding to spot in the night sky as it has a fainter companion star, seen here on the far right. Francois du Toit/NASA
This composite image shows the jet from a black hole at the center of a galaxy striking the edge of another galaxy, the first time such an interaction has been found. The jet impacts the companion galaxy at its edge and is then disrupted and deflected, much like how a stream of water from a hose will splay out after hitting a wall at an angle. NASA/CXC/CfA/D.Evans/STScI/NSF/VLA/CfA/D.Evans et al., STFC/JBO/MERLIN
Don't be fooled by the familiar symmetry. The graceful spiral structure seen in this computer visualization does not portray winding spiral arms in a distant galaxy of stars. Instead, the graphic shows spiral shock waves in a three dimensional simulation of an accretion disk - material swirling onto a compact central object that could represent a white dwarf star, neutron star, or black hole. Such accretion disks power bright x-ray sources within our own galaxy. Michael Owen/John Blondin/North Carolina State Univ./NASA
South Korea, long in the shadow of other Asian 'tiger economies,' is suddenly hip and enormously prosperous – so much so that it may have outgrown its thankless dream of reuniting with the North.
Scott Duke Harris, Contributor /
May 19, 2013
Ann Hermes/The Christian Science Monitor
For months the young emperor to the north has been threatening to turn this thriving metropolis into a "sea of fire." But it's not easy to ruffle the jaunty vibe of 75-year-old Kim Chong-shik as he strolls among young couples and shoppers along the boutiques of the Gangnam District.