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Extraordinary shot of moon’s far side and Earth, from Chang’e

View larger. |  Chinese Chang'e 5 test vehicle captured this extraordinary view of Earth over the far side of the moon on  October 28, 2014.

View of Earth over the far side of the moon on October 28, 2014, via Chinese Chang’e 5 test vehicle. Image via CNSA (China National Space Agency)

The Chinese Chang’e 5 test vehicle captured this extraordinary view of Earth over the far side of the moon yesterday. From Earth, the phase of the moon was a waxing crescent. From the moon, the Earth is in a waning gibbous phase. More detail about features visible on this photo on the far side of the moon, inside.

Cool composite of Comet Siding Spring near Mars

This composite NASA Hubble Space Telescope image captures the positions of comet Siding Spring and Mars in a never-before-seen close passage of a comet by the Red Planet, which happened at 2:28 p.m. EDT October 19, 2014. Image credit: NASA, ESA, PSI, JHU/APL, STScI/AURA

This composite NASA Hubble Space Telescope image captures the positions of comet Siding Spring and Mars in a never-before-seen close passage of a comet by the Red Planet, which happened at 2:28 p.m. EDT October 19, 2014. Image credit: NASA, ESA, PSI, JHU/APL, STScI/AURA

This NASA Hubble Space Telescope composite image captures the positions of Comet Siding Spring and Mars in a never-before-seen close passage of a comet by the Red Planet. The close encounter took place at 2:28 p.m. EDT October 19, 2014. The comet passed by Mars at approximately 87,000 miles, or about one-third of the distance between Earth and the moon! At that time, the comet and Mars were approximately 149 million miles from Earth.

The Brocken Spectre

Photo credit: Conor Ledwith Photography

Photo credit: Conor Ledwith Photography

Brocken Spectre at Lough Corrib, a lake in the west of Ireland, by Conor Ledwith Photography. What a selfie!

See it! Photos of October 23 solar eclipse

October 23 partial solar eclipse from Jennifer Rose Lane in West Virginia.

October 23 partial solar eclipse from Jennifer Rose Lane in West Virginia.

Favorite photos of the beautiful partial solar eclipse on October 23. Thank you to all who submitted to EarthSky.org or posted at EarthSky Facebook or G+.

View from space: Southwestern U.S. at night

Image credit: NASA

Image credit: NASA

Two cool nighttime photos by astronauts aboard the ISS. Check out the bright city lights.

Best photos: Comet Siding Spring sweeps past Mars

Comet Siding Springs sweeps past Mars on October 19, 2014, via Rolando Ligustri.

Comet Siding Springs sweeps past Mars on October 19, 2014, via Rolando Ligustri. Used with permission.

Hurtling through space at about 35 miles (56 kilometers) per second, Comet Siding Spring (C/2013 A1) swept closest to Mars on October 19, 2014. It swept extremely close to the planet, closer than any known comet in recorded history. We’re just beginning to see the photos from this event. See the best ones here …

4 a.m aurora

Photo credit: Colin Chatfield

Photo credit: Colin Chatfield

Colin Chatfield wrote from Canada:

It was very windy out, so some of the trees appear blurry. The full moon was also behind me, so I was able to use that as a natural light source for the foreground.

Comet Siding Spring near M6

Photo by Rolando Ligustri

Photo by Rolando Ligustri

Rolando Ligustri in Italy caught Comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring passing nearly in front of M6 – sometimes called the Butterfly Cluster – in the tail of the constellation Scorpius on October 9. Professional astronomers recently announced the comet began losing brightness in September. But it is still beautiful, and still has a sweeping comet tail. Its close encounter with the planet Mars on October 19 – one week from today – is much anticipated.

One of the sharpest images ever obtained of Mercury

Very closeup look at planet Mercury.  Image obtained on August 3, 2014, via NASA / JHU / APL MESSENGER spacecraft.

Very closeup look at a small crater on the planet Mercury. Image obtained on August 3, 2014, via NASA / JHU / APL MESSENGER spacecraft.

This unnamed crater is only 1.5 kilometers / 0.93 miles wide. It’s made more visible by the deep shadows cast on a Mercury afternoon.

See it! Best photos of October 8 total lunar eclipse

Mike Mezeul II shared this great eclipse pic at EarthSky Facebook.  Read more about this image.

Mike Mezeul II shared this great eclipse pic at EarthSky Facebook.

A beautiful total lunar eclipse. Thanks to all who posted at EarthSky Facebook and G+!