My Favourite Space Pics of 2014

This image was was released in 2010 (I know, not a strong start for a 2014 blog post) but I only discovered it this year when it went viral again thanks to a recent Reddit post.

"Vertical structures, among the tallest seen in Saturn's main rings, rise abruptly from the edge of Saturn's B ring to cast long shadows on the ring in this image taken by NASA's Cassini spacecraft two weeks before the planet's August 2009 equinox."

“Vertical structures, among the tallest seen in Saturn’s main rings, rise abruptly from the edge of Saturn’s B ring to cast long shadows on the ring in this image taken by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft two weeks before the planet’s August 2009 equinox.”

"NGC 2207 and IC 2163 are two spiral galaxies in the process of merging. They have hosted three supernova explosions in the past 15 years and have produced one of the most bountiful collections of super-bright X-ray lights known."

“NGC 2207 and IC 2163 are two spiral galaxies in the process of merging. They have hosted three supernova explosions in the past 15 years and have produced one of the most bountiful collections of super-bright X-ray lights known.”

The plucky little Mars Curiosity rover was very busy again this year.

"Curiosity Self-Portrait at 'Windjana' Drilling Site"

“Curiosity Self-Portrait at ‘Windjana’ Drilling Site”

This was of course the year that the Philae Lander bounced its way onto the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko from the Rosetta Spacecraft, revealing some extraordinary images of the comet surface.

"The Cliffs of Churyumov-Gerasimenko: an enhanced and procosessed crop of an image from Rosetta’s navcam."

“The Cliffs of Churyumov-Gerasimenko: an enhanced and procosessed crop of an image from Rosetta’s navcam.”

The Martian dunes have always been a favourite of astrophotographers and astronomy enthusiasts. They reveal a desolate world that is just familiar enough for us to feel like we can just reach out and touch it, yet eery and alien enough to keep us interested. View more gorgeous pics of the dunes here.

"The Russell Crater dune field is covered seasonally by carbon dioxide frost, and this image shows the dune field after the frost has sublimated (evaporated directly from solid to gas). There are just a few patches left of the bright seasonal frost."

“The Russell Crater dune field is covered seasonally by carbon dioxide frost, and this image shows the dune field after the frost has sublimated (evaporated directly from solid to gas). There are just a few patches left of the bright seasonal frost.”

Some of my favourite pics this year have been tweeted by astronauts on board the ISS, my favourite of which has been Samantha Cristoforetti.

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