2014 was an incredible year for space exploration. Here's a few of the most spectacular space images captured this year.
Chandra X-ray observatory, the Hubble Space Telescope and the Spitzer Space Telescope.
This image, which was released December 11th, shows “ulta luminous X-ray sources”, or ULX’s, exploding from spiral galaxies NGC 2207 and IC 2136 as they brush past one another.
The galaxies are about 130 million light-years from earth, found in the constellation Canis Major. The photo is actually a composite image of data from the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, the Hubble Space Telescope and the Spitzer Space Telescope.
X- ray light is seen as pink, optical light from the Hubble in blue, white, brown and orange, and infrared light from the Spitzer telescope as red.
Mars Rover Selfie
It turns out even highly advanced robots enjoy a good selfie every now and again! This image was captured by the Mars Rover Hand Lens Imager on April 28th, showing Curiosity cleaning an apparently intriguing rock with its robotic arm mounted Dust Abrasion Tool.
This image was taken over many separate exposures from 2003 to 2012 by the Hubble Space Telescope, and was finally released on June 3rd 2014.
Taken using the Hubbles Advanced Camera for Surveys and Wide Field Camara 3, it shows us the evolving universe and thousands of distant galaxies.
The MOM Mission
One of the top space success stories this year was the ISRO Mars Obiter Mission reaching its destination, sending a flurry of incredible images back to us of the red planet.
Philae the Comet Conquerer
Another robot that loves a selfie, this is the unmanned robotic lander Philae on the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
For more information on Philae take a look at this article on its landing.
Saturns Violent Polar Storm
Cassini captured this stunning false colour image of the vortex of Saturns north polar storm this year. The angry red storm clouds are believed to reach up to 330 miles and hour, and the eye is believed to be 1,250 miles across.
This image was taken by Nasa’s Nuclear Spectroscopc Telescope Array, and was its first to be taken of the sun in high-energy X-rays. It was released on Dec 22 2014
The Close Up
JPL/UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA/NASA
So…what is this? It kind of looks like weird animal hide, but what you’re actually looking at is an incredible close up shot of Mars’ surface. This is the Russel Crater dunes, taken by Nasa on Febuary 5th.
Happy Birthday Hubble
Photograph by NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)
This image shoes the Nebula NGC 2174 and was released on March 17th as a happy birthday to the Hubble telescope. It’s found in the Orion constellation, roughly 6,400 light years away in a region called the "stellar nursery", which is where clouds of dust and gas come together forming young stars.
Hollywood From The Sky
This image, courtesy of the International Space Station, captures the bright lights of Hollywood along the coast of the Pacific Ocean.
So there you have it, what we think are the top 10 space photos of 2014.