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  • David Wertheimer II

    Swirling vortices of clouds trailing Guadalupe Island in the Pacific.

  • Debbie Coleman

    A Glorious View - A layer of stratocumulus clouds over the Pacific Ocean served as the backdrop for this rainbow-like optical phenomenon known as a glory.

  • Sarah R

    Guadalupe Island causes cloud vortices as seen from NASA's Terra satellite.

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This new global view and animation of Earth’s city lights is a composite assembled from data acquired by the Suomi NPP satellite. The data was acquired over nine days in April 2012 and 13 days in October 2012. It took 312 orbits to get a clear shot of every parcel of Earth's land surface and islands. This new data was then mapped over existing Blue Marble imagery of Earth to provide a realistic view of the planet.

On Oct. 13, 2012, the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi NPP satellite captured this nighttime view of the Nile River Valley and Delta. Credit: NASA Earth Observatory/Suomi NPP

The moon takes a bite out of the sun's disk in this extreme ultraviolet view from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory

Kelvin Wakes clouds viewed from the Space Shuttle. These clouds formations are caused when a cloud system runs across mountains or tall hills, which disturb the cloud layer from below. (STS 61-A, October-November 1985. Picture #61A-31-066.)

This image from NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer shows NGC 6744, one of the galaxies most similar to our Milky Way in the local universe. This ultraviolet view highlights the vast extent of the fluffy spiral arms, and demonstrates that star formation can occur in the outer regions of galaxies.

Wispy tendrils of hot dust and gas glow brightly in this ultraviolet image of the Cygnus Loop nebula, taken by NASA’s Galaxy Evolution Explorer. The nebula lies about 1,500 light-years away, and is a supernova remnant, left over from a massive stellar explosion that occurred between 5,000 to 8,000 years ago. The filaments of gas and dust visible here in ultraviolet light were heated by Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

A dying star is throwing a cosmic tantrum in this combined image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope and the Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX), which NASA has lent to the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. In death, the star's dusty outer layers are unraveling into space, glowing from the intense ultraviolet radiation being pumped out by the hot stellar core.

Stellar Snowflake Cluster 13x19inch Fine by DeepSpacePhotography, $20.00

A Cosmic Holiday Ornament, Hubble-Style: 'Tis the season for holiday decorating and tree-trimming. Not to be left out, astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have photographed a festive-looking nearby planetary nebula called NGC 5189. The intricate structure of this bright gaseous nebula resembles a glass-blown holiday ornament with a glowing ribbon entwined.

Stars Shoot Jets in Cosmic Playground The infrared WISE and @NASASpitzer telescopes saw dozens of baby stars with jets, hidden deep within a dusty cocoon

Graceful Eruption A solar prominence began to bow out and the broke apart in a graceful, floating style in a little less than four hours (Mar. 16, 2013). The sequence was captured in extreme ultraviolet light. A large cloud of the particles appeared to hover further out above the surface before it faded away. Credit: Solar Dynamics Observatory/NASA