Week's Best Space Pictures: Auroras and a Total Solar Eclipse
By Jane J. Lee,
National Geographic News, 27 March 2015.

See stellar photos of the sun's fiery corona, a close-up of our blue marble world, and more.

1. A Golden Eclipse


Last Friday's solar eclipse threw a burnished gold shadow across clouds swirling over the Arctic Ocean in the early morning hours. NASA's Terra satellite was in the right place at the right time to snap a picture. (Learn about solar eclipse myths.)

2. A Ringside Seat


A mini-satellite was in the perfect position to catch last Friday's solar eclipse in all its glory. Using extreme UV optics, it recorded this image of near totality as the moon passed in front of the sun, with the fiery corona flashing.

3. Ghostly Auroras


Familiar lights take on an eerie glow as auroras sweep across North America. Auroras usually paint the sky with greens and pinks, but when viewed through special instruments on an orbiting satellite, these ephemeral lights look like milky smears.

4. A Martian Overlook


The Mars rover Opportunity snapped this composite image of "Marathon valley" while perched on an overlook to the north. Opportunity will gradually make its way into the valley to study clay minerals spied in the area by a satellite.

5. Preparing for Flight


A Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft eases out of a hangar in readiness for sending a U.S. astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts to the International Space Station on March 28 for a yearlong mission. Their ride will roll to a Kazakhstan launchpad for lift-off.

6. Our Blue Marble


Peacock blues, sea greens, and creamy beiges come together in the Yellow Sea in an image taken by a NASA satellite. This patch of water, with South Korea on the right and China on the left, is one of the most dynamic of the world's oceans.

[Source: National Geographic News. Edited. Some links added.]

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