I have always found space exploration to be incredibly fascinating - its beauty and vastness are undoubtedly mesmerizing. Recently, space exploration has seen stunning progress, with various telescopes and satellites capturing a number of incredible photographs of our galaxy and beyond. Here are some of the best space photos of recent years.
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1. Jets of energized gas shooting from a young star, captured by the Hubble Space Telescope.
2. The Pillars of Creation, captured by the Hubble Space Telescope in infra-red light.
3. Comet 67P taken by the Rosetta Orbiter.
4. This is the Acidalia Planitia, captured by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
5. This globular cluster, Messier 22, was observed by the Hubble Space Telescope.
6. Star Hen 2-427 and nebula MI-67, taken by the Hubble Space Telescope.
7. Pictured below is the Galaxy NGC 488, taken by the Mount Lemmon SkyCenter.
8. NASA's Deep Space Climate Observatory captured this new Blue Marble image of the Earth.
9. Astronaut Kjell Lindgren captured this beautiful view of the Milky Way.
10. This detailed image of Pluto was captured during the New Horizons spacecraft's historic mission.
11. This photo was taken by the Hubble Space Telescope gravitational lens - causing this group of galaxies to appear as a smiley face.
12. Taken at Mount Lemmon, this nebula is named 'Thor's Helmet'.
13. Astronaut Terry Virts took this photo of Super Typhoon Maysak from the ISS.
14. Taken by the New Horizons spacecraft, this is a close up photo of Pluto's moon, Charon.
15. Pluto's blue layer of haze, captured by the New Horizons.
16. Astronaut Kjell Lindgren gave us this view of Earth.
17. This photo was also taken by Astronaut Kjell Lindgren, it shows Scott Kelly working on the ISS.
18. Captured by the Hubble Space Telescope, this photo shows the Westerlund 2 star cluster.
19. NASA's curiosity rover took this photo of the Kimberly formation on Mars.