Photographers gather to cover space shuttle Discovery as it sits on launch pad 39A after making the trip from the vehicle assembly building at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida on Sept. 21. Scott Audette/Reuters
A Japanese H-2A rocket, carrying the global positioning satellite Michibiki, blasts off into space from the Tanegashima Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture, southwestern Japan on Sept. 11. Kyodo/Reuters
A Japanese H-2A rocket, carrying the global positioning satellite Michibiki, blasts off into space from the Tanegashima Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture, southwestern Japan on Sept. 11. Photo was taken with a fish-eye lens and three-minute exposure time. Kyodo/Reuters
A coronal hole, the dark spot beginning just below the sun's center and extending to the right, is shown opening up in this image by NASA satellite STEREO. The coronal holes release high-powered solar winds that disturb the upper atmosphere of Earth and force it to emit energy to maintain the earth's radiation budget. STEREO/NASA
The full beauty of the Cat's Eye Nebula (NGC 6543) is revealed in this new, detailed view from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. The image from Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) shows a bull's eye pattern of eleven or even more concentric rings, or shells, around the Cat's Eye. Each 'ring' is actually the edge of a spherical bubble seen projected onto the sky. NASA, ESA, HEIC, and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)
Spitzer Space Telescope set its infrared eyes upon the dusty remains of shredded asteroids around several dead stars. This artist's concept illustrates one such dead star, or 'white dwarf,' surrounded by the bits and pieces of a disintegrating asteroid. These observations help astronomers better understand what rocky planets are made of around other stars. Caltech /JPL/NASA
This illustration shows a flare from magnetar Swift J195509+261406. A starquake is probably what triggered the object's 40 optical flares. A. Simonnet/Sonoma State University/Swift//NASA
This image of the ladder-like structures surrounding a dying star reveals startling new details of one of the most unusual nebulae known in our Milky Way. Cataloged as HD 44179, this nebula is more commonly called the 'Red Rectangle' because of its unique shape and color as seen with ground-based telescopes. Hans Van Winckel/ESA/NASA
In this view captured by NASA's Cassini spacecraft, on Saturn's moon Mimas is the large Herschel Crater. The crater is 80 miles wide and covers most of the right of this image. SSI/JPL/NASA
This is a false-color image of the star AE Aurigae (bright source of light near the center of image) embedded in a region of space containing smoke-like filaments of carbon-rich dust grains. Such dust might be hiding deuterium, an isotope of hydrogen, and stymieing astronomers' efforts to study star and galaxy formation. T.A. Rector and B.A. Wolpa, NOAO, AURA and NSF
US health officials announced their estimate after world organizations warned the deadly virus might become a permanent part of west African life.
BySharon Begley and Tom Miles, Reuters
Global experts issued stark new warnings of the scale of West Africa's Ebola outbreak on Tuesday, with the U.S. government estimating between 550,000 and 1.4 million people might be infected in the region by January.