2011: The year in space (44 images)

With the shuttles falling by the wayside, and a seemingly decreased emphasis on universal exploration, this gallery goes to show that in spite of the naysayers, there are still some incredible sights to see beyond the Earth.
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This undated NASA composite image shows the central region of the spiral galaxy NGC 4151. X-rays (blue) from the Chandra X-ray Observatory are combined with optical data (yellow) showing positively charged hydrogen (H II) from observations with the 1-meter Jacobus Kapteyn Telescope, December 31, 2011. UPI/NASA
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