WEEK'S BEST SPACE PICTURES

Feed your need for heavenly views of the universe with our pick of the most awe-inspiring space pictures. This week, Iceland shows off its brilliant greens, and a dwarf galaxy packs a big surprise. Full story: http://bit.ly/1O9dC6i
  1. Lens Flare
    The sun’s rays graze the very top of the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) telescope, located in Chile’s Atacama Desert. The 12-meter telescope images very cold gas and dust in the Milky Way and other galaxies. (Photo by Carlos A. Durán)
  2. Taking a Pulse
    The enormous elliptical galaxy M87, located 53 million light-years from Earth, looms large in the Virgo galaxy cluster. In a recent study, astronomers estimated the galaxy’s age—10 billion years—using the “heartbeats” of its pulsars. (Photo by NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team)
  3. Brand-New Scar
    NASA’s Dawn spacecraft snapped a photo of a recent impact crater on the dwarf planet Ceres. The crater is about 16 miles (25 kilometers) in diameter. (Photo by NASA, JPL-Caltech, UCLA, MPS, DLR, IDA)
  4. Greener Land
    NASA’s Terra spacecraft reveals Iceland’s varied landscape, as seasonal snow melts highlight the boundaries of its permanent ice caps, which appear here as smooth and rounded. (Photo by Joshua Stevens, Jeff Schmaltz)
  5. Little Galaxy, Big Questions
    The Fornax dwarf galaxy’s globular clusters—balls of stars that orbit its center—mysteriously mirror those found in the Milky Way, despite the dwarf galaxy’s youth and smaller size. Astronomers aren’t sure why. (Photo by ESO, Digitized Sky Survey 2)