By spying on a neighboring galaxy, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has captured an image of a young, globular-like star cluster - a type of object unknown in our Milky Way Galaxy. The double cluster NGC 1850 lies in a neighboring satellite galaxy, the Large Magellanic Cloud. NASA-JPL
This infrared image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows the Helix nebula, a cosmic starlet often photographed by amateur astronomers for its vivid colors and eerie resemblance to a giant eye. The nebula, located about 700 light-years away in the constellation Aquarius, belongs to a class of objects called planetary nebulae. Discovered in the 18th century, these colorful beauties were named for their resemblance to gas-giant planets like Jupiter. NASA/JPL-Caltech/K. Su (Univ. of Ariz.)
'The further on the edge, the hotter the intensity,' sings Kenny Loggins in 'Danger Zone,' a song made famous by the movie 'Top Gun.' The same words ring true for young, cooler stars like our sun that live in the danger zones around scorching hot stars, called O-stars. The closer a young, maverick star happens to be to a super hot O-star, the more likely its burgeoning planets will be blasted into space. This artist's concept illustrates the process in action. NASA/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle (SSC)
Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have found a spiral galaxy that may rotate in the opposite direction from what was expected. It was taken in May 2001 by Hubble's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2, designed and built by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. NASA and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)
This artist's rendering illustrates one possible sample return mission concept. In this concept, a spacecraft would carry two or more miniature rovers to Mars, where the vehicles would rove independently, collecting soil and rock samples which would then be returned to the mothership. The sample return spacecraft would be able to blast off the surface of Mars, as seen here, carrying the soil samples, and rendezvous with an orbiter circling Mars. NASA/JPL-Caltech
This artist's concept shows a Jupiter-like planet soaking up the scorching rays of its nearby 'sun.' NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope used its heat-seeking infrared eyes to figure out that a gas-giant planet like the one depicted here is two-faced, with one side perpetually in the cold dark, and the other forever blistering under the heat of its star. NASA/JPL-Caltech
This false-color view shows cratered terrain on the anti-Saturn hemisphere of the moon Tethys - the side that always faces away from Saturn. NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
At Astrotech Space Operations in Titusville, Fla., a worker checks wiring on the Mercury Surface, Space Environment, Geochemistry and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft in 2004. NASA
This aerial view of the STS-2 Columbia launch from Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, was taken by astronaut John Young aboard NASA's Shuttle Training Aircraft in 1981. NASA
NASA's Human Robotic Systems Project, part of the agency's Exploration Technology Development Program, focused on human and robotic mobility systems for the moon, but also looked at communication and command and control systems that will connect the explorers with Earth and each other. The Moses Lake dunes provided a wide variety of soil consistencies and terrain that allowed the team to put prototype scout robots, rovers, cargo carriers, cranes and spacesuits through tests in a harsh and changing environment. NASA/Sean Smith
The celebrated Rafi Peer troupe got featured at this year's Lahore literary festival, after surviving Islamist bomb attacks. But civil society and free expression in Pakistan may still be measured as one step forward and two back.
The stage lights are coming on in the main hall of the modernist Alhamra Arts Center. It is the last night of the Lahore Literary Festival and the venue is packed with people sitting in the aisles and standing at the rear. Hundreds more are pressed together outside at a large screen, waiting for this Sufi-inspired music, drama and dance spectacular.