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.
Updated: Jan. 4, 2012 at 9:40 AM
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This close-up Hubble view of the Meathook Galaxy (NGC 2442), released on May 4, 2011, focuses on the more compact of its two asymmetric spiral arms as well as the central regions. The spiral arm was the location of a supernova that exploded in 1999. These Hubble observations were made in 2006 in order to study the aftermath of this supernova. Ground-based data from MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope were used to fill out parts of the edges of this image. .UPI/NASA/ESA
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