BBC Future

Best space images of the month

  • Firm grasp
    Orbital Sciences Corp’s unmanned cargo ship had a successful test mission at the International Space Station, clearing the firm to begin regular cargo runs to the outpost. (Nasa)
  • Ring of beauty
    Amateur image processor Gordan Ugarkovic pieced together images of Saturn from the Cassini spacecraft to create this stunning portrait. (Nasa)
  • Live stream
    The Earth Observatory captured this (false-colour) image of multiple lava flows streaming down Klyuchevskaya, one of the world’s most active volcanoes. (Nasa)
  • Extreme bursts
    A X2.1 class solar flare - the second of three eruptions from our Sun detected on 25 October. (Nasa)
  • High ride
    World View Enterprises announced its ambition to launch a near-space balloon within three years that will carry passengers to Earth's stratosphere. (Reuters)
  • Far, far away
    Astronomers found the most distant galaxy yet, z8_GND_5296, a finding that pushes back scientists' view of the universe to about 700 million years after its creation. (Nasa)
  • Sun stroke
    The sunlit side of Mercury, as captured by the Wide Angle Camera of the Mercury Dual Imaging System aboard Nasa's Messenger spacecraft (Nasa)
  • Stellar performance
    Nasa astronaut Karen Nyberg, Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin commander (R), and European Space Agency astronaut Luca Parmitano strike a pose on the ISS. (Nasa)
  • Ding dong, the witches head
    Nasa’s Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer found the Witch Head nebula, named after its apparent resemblance to the profile of a wicked witch. (Nasa)
Here are some of the most stunning pictures captured during a memorable month in space – from bold new ventures to a galaxy far, far away.

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