This week is
World Space Week
, so to celebrate I have put together a top 10 gallery of space photographs -- snapped by humans
our robotic explorers -- that have been featured on Discovery News over the past 12 months. This selection is based on the photograph's scientific, social and artistic impact, weighed against their popularity on the site (and, exercising my editorial powers, personal preference). This is by no means an exhaustive list and represents only the tip of the amazing space photo iceberg.
Do you think more 'worthy' photographs needed mentioning? Feel free to send me your suggestions in the comments below and we might have enough material for a Discovery News readers' choice gallery.
To kick off, we turn to the the Wide Field Imager on the MPG/ESO 2.2-meter telescope at ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile that captured a stunning deep space view of two dramatic star formation regions in the southern Milky Way in August. The first of these, on the left, is dominated by the star cluster NGC 3603, located about 20,000 light-years away, in the Carina–Sagittarius spiral arm of the Milky Way galaxy. The second object, on the right, is a collection of glowing gas clouds known as NGC 3576 that lies only about half as far from Earth.
MORE: Staring into a Seething Nest of Massive Stars