WEEK'S BEST SPACE PICTURES: A PULSAR'S TECHNICOLOR HOME

A massive galaxy cluster glitters, and new images highlight the sun's corona with dramatic color. (Full story: http://on.natgeo.com/1RF2gEE)
  1. Celestial Lighthouse
    The new CHIMERA instrument on the Palomar Observatory’s Hale Telescope snapped this image of the Crab Pulsar, a collapsed, dead star 6,500 light-years away that spins 30 times per second and emits lighthouse-like beams of light. (Photo by NASA/JPL-CALTECH)
  2. Saturnian Siblings
    NASA's Cassini spacecraft spots Rhea (left) and Tethys (right), two of Saturn's moons. The sisters’ names couldn’t be more fitting: They’re named after two sibling Titanesses from Greek mythology. (Photo by NASA/JPL-CALTECH/Space Science Institute)
  3. Paint it Black
    On March 8, 2016, NASA's Aqua satellite spotted the reddish shadow of the moon over the South Pacific Ocean during a total solar eclipse—the last one before an August 21, 2017, total solar eclipse that will be visible in much of the U.S. (Photo by NASA/Goddard/Jeff Schmaltz/Modis Land Rapid Response Team)
  4. Far-Out Focus
    This Hubble image shows Abell 2744, a galaxy cluster about four billion light-years away also known as Pandora’s Box. The cluster’s mass acts like a lens to warp passing light—allowing astronomers to peer deep into the universe’s past. (Photo by NASA, ESA and the HST Frontier Fields Team (STSCI))
  5. Brilliantly Bruised
    NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory spots the solar corona in this false-color composite. The image's three colors (red, green, and blue) correspond to different wavelengths of UV light emitted by excited iron ions. (Photo by NASA/SDO and the AIA, EVE, and HMI Science Teams)
  6. Let's Have Some More
    Astronomers at the European Southern Observatory sharply imaged the dusty disc around IRAS 08544-4431, an aging pair of stars about 4,000 light-years away. It might provide material for a "second round" of planets. (Photo by ESO)
  7. Curiosity's Neighborhood
    NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captures the unique texture of Gale Crater's southern surface. The Curiosity rover is investigating the 96-mile-wide crater, but not the area photographed. (Photo by NASA/JPL-CALTECH/University of Arizona)