Seen from a New Zealand observatory, the young star cluster NGC 6193 (center) appears suspended within the nebula NGC 6188. The nebula itself is littered with thousands of dimmer, colorful stars in this image recently submitted to National Geographic's Your Shot photo community.
NGC 6188 is a large-emission nebula some 4,000 light-years away from Earth in the constellation Ara. (See more nebula pictures.)
Image by Rolf Olsen, Your Shot
The German Aerospace Center's unmanned SHEFEX II spacecraft takes off from the Andøya Rocket Range in Norway on June 22. Ten minutes later the 43-foot-tall (13-meter-tall) rocket landed safely west of Spitsbergen, Norway.
As it re-entered the atmosphere, SHEFEX (SHarp Edge Flight EXperiment) endured temperatures over 4,500 degrees Fahrenheit (2,500 degrees Celsius), and its 300 sensors sent measurement data to a ground station.
"The SHEFEX II flight takes us one step further in the road to developing a space vehicle built like a space capsule but offering the control and flight options of the space shuttle much more cost-effectively," project manager Hendrik Weihs said in a statement.
A school of fish clump into a ball to guard against predators. The 50 megapixel panorama was taken in October 2009 near the Galapagos Islands. It is made up of 19 individual photographs stitched together.
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