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Best space images of the month

  • Suspended in space
    A crescent moon rises over the Earth in an image taken by Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata onboard the International Space Station (ISS). (Nasa/Reuters)
  • Blacked out
    An almost completely dark North Korea seen in a night-time image taken from the ISS, in stark contrast to the blazing lights of nearby South Korea and China. (Nasa-JSC/Reuters)
  • Dwarf planet
    Saturn seems tiny next to our Moon as it passes in front of the planet – an event known as an occultation. (Colin Legg)
  • Crawl to the stars
    A Russian Soyuz-U booster heading to its launch site at Kazakhstan’s Baikonur Cosmodrome. The Soyuz was carrying an unmanned Progress M-22M cargo spacecraft. (AFP/Getty Images)
  • Black sea, red city
    The Russian city of Sochi, host of the Winter Olympics, shot by Nasa’s Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (Aster). (Nasa/Reuters)
  • Deep impact
    A crater on Mars, approximately 100 feet (30m) deep, and surrounded by a blast zone. Imaging technology has made the freshly-made crater look blue. (Nasa/JPL-Caltech/Reuters)
  • Shock and awe
    The red arc of a giant shock wave – taken by Nasa’s Spitzer Space Telescope – formed by colliding particles from star Kappa Cassiopeiae and surrounding space dust. (Nasa/Reuters)
  • King of the rings
    Saturn, shot by the Cassini spacecraft using special filters, as it flew past approximately 1.6 million miles (2.56 million km) away. (Nasa/JPL-Caltech/SSI/Reuters)
  • Venus, rediscovered
    The first close-up photo of Venus, taken by Nasa’s Mariner 10 mission in February 1974, and released by the space agency to mark the mission’s 40th anniversary. (AFP/Getty Images)
  • Seeing stars
    The dome of the Zeiss Planetarium in Jena, Germany, during the presentation of its new show Journey to a Billion Suns, which charts the life of the Milky Way galaxy. (AFP)

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