Austrian pilot and sky diver Felix Baumgartner falls toward Earth after leaping out of a Red Bull's Stratos capsule more than 24 miles (39 kilometers) above the Earth on October 14, 2012.
Baumgartner reached a speed of 833.9 miles (1,342 kilometers) an hour and became the first sky diver to break the speed of sound before opening his red-and-white parachute and floating down to the New Mexico desert.
Photograph by Jay Nemeth, Red Bull Content Pool
An open tent flap looks out onto countless stars of the Milky Way galaxy in this early morning, long-exposure photograph taken in the Sierra Nevada mountains in California earlier this month.
Photograph by Tony Rowell, My Shot
A ruby circle of stars, dust, and gas surrounds a tilted central galaxy to create an ensemble known as NGC 660, a so-called polar-ring galaxy about 40 million light-years from Earth.
Polar-ring galaxies are rare and peculiar objects, and astronomers think they are actually formed from two interacting galaxies. So the image above, snapped by a telescope at the Gemini Observatory in Hawaii, is either the "bloody" aftermath of one galaxy piercing the heart of another—or the remains of a galaxy that stripped material from a passing neighbor, astronomers say.
Image courtesy AURA/Gemini Observatory
A man-made lake in the desert city of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates appears bright blue in a satellite image taken January 4 and released October 10 by the European Space Agency. The lake sits next to the Burj Khalifa skyscraper, the tallest building in the world.
Image courtesy ESA
Asteroids lap the sun in the same orbit as Jupiter in an artist's conception released by NASA October 15.
Created using data collected by NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, spacecraft, the image depicts the asteroids as being uniformly dark with a hint of burgundy color and having matte surfaces that reflect little sunlight. Recent observations from WISE confirmed astronomers' suspicions that there are more asteroids in the leading pack of Trojans (in the distance) than the trailing bunch.
Illustration courtesy Caltech/NASA
Out to Sea
A massive, ghostly dust plume blows off the coast of western Africa and over the Atlantic Ocean in an image taken by NASA's Aqua satellite earlier this month.