A Perseid meteor zips over Iran's Alamut Castle in an August 12 picture submitted to the astronomy-education project The World at Night.
The Perseids, which occur annually when Earth and the moon pass through a cloud of rocky particles shed by comet Swift-Tuttle, often provide an impressive show for sky-watchers—including photographer Oshin D. Zakarian.
"Just came back from Perseid-meteor shooting," he wrote with his submission, "and this time I was lucky!"
NASA's Curiosity rover took this color image of gravel-colored ground on Mars just minutes after touching down on the red planet on August 8.
A sliver of sunlight passing through the structure of the rover—whose wheel is visible at top left—illuminates the surface. The largest rock fragment in the image is about two inches (five centimeters) long.
NASA's Project Morpheus vehicle burns after a hardware failure prevented the prototype lander from maintaining stable flight on August 9 at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Engineers are looking into the cause of the failure, which resulted in no injuries.
Morpheus—designed to improve spacecraft propulsion, landing, and hazard detection—is also intended to carry more than a thousand pounds (450 kilograms) of cargo to the moon.
A Perseid meteor zips over a lake in Hungary on August 11.
Hitting Earth's atmosphere at almost a hundred thousand miles (160,000 kilometers) an hour, the meteoroids burn up, producing streaks of light—meteors, or shooting stars—each lasting just a fraction of a second.
Designed by a Dutch start-up, the theoretical Mars One capsule lands on the red planet in an artist's conception.
Mars One's designers intend to beat out NASA by sending the first humans to Mars in 2023. Project planners hope to "establish the foundation of a permanent settlement from which we will prosper, learn, and grow," according to the Mars One website.