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Out-of-this-world images from space(49 images)

Astronauts from the United States and the European Space Agency, along with engineers and scientists on the ground around the world, are capturing some amazing images from outer space. Many were released in celebration of the Hubble Telescope's 30th anniversary. Here are some of the recent highlights.

This composite image, produced by the NASA-NOAA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (NPP) satellite, provides a view of the Americas at night. The clouds and sun glint, added here for aesthetic effect, are derived from MODIS instrument land surface and cloud cover products. Photo courtesy of NASA/UPI
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The "aurora australis" is pictured near the southernmost point of the International Space Station's orbital trek above the Indian Ocean on April 8. Photo courtesy of NASA


The NGC 4651 galaxy may look serene and peaceful as it swirls in the vast, silent emptiness of space. It is believed that this galaxy consumed another smaller galaxy to become the beautiful spiral. Although only a telescope like the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, which captured this image, could give a picture this clear, NGC 4651 can also be observed with an amateur telescope. Photo courtesy of NASA
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The Canadarm2 robotic arm and Dextre, the fine-tuned robotic hand, are remotely controlled on Earth to extract Bartolomeo from the pressurized trunk of the SpaceX Dragon resupply ship on March 25. Bartolomeo is a European Space Agency science payload system that will enable numerous external science experiments to be conducted and controlled outside the space station. Photo courtesy of NASA


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