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2012’s Best Science Photos (IMHO)

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by Ysabel Yates

Our cups ran over with the many beautiful and amazing images scientists and satellites captured this year when they looked around and out from Earth. From things microscopic to those light years across, and from morning coffee to the deep recesses scattered around the universe, we bring you some of our favorite science pictures created in 2012.

These are in no particular order and by no means inclusive of all the best.

1. The first, above, comes from Hinode - a joint JAXA/NASA mission to study the connections of the sun’s surface magnetism. The project brings us this unique image of the transit of Venus between the Earth and sun, the once-in-a-lifetime event that occurred on June 5. Courtesy: JAXA/NASA/Lockheed Martin.

Click through to see the rest.

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space shuttle endeavour
Space Shuttle Endeavour Over Houston, Texas

Space Shuttle Endeavour is ferried by NASA’s 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) over Houston, Texas on Sept. 19, 2012. Endeavour is on its final voyage to a spot at the California Science Center.

As part of Endeavour’s retirement flight, the SCA is completing low flybys of Clear Lake and NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston; downtown Austin; the White Sands Missile Range and NASA’s White Sands Test Facility in New Mexico; and Tucson, Arizona.

On Friday, Sept. 20, the SCA and Endeavour will complete the final leg of the journey and do low-level flybys of the Edwards Air Force Base area, Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay area. Next the duo will travel south, making a pass over NASA’s Ames Research Center, Vandenberg Air Force Base and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory before heading into the Los Angeles area.

The SCA and Endeavour will land about noon PDT at Los Angeles International Airport for an arrival ceremony. Endeavour will then be taken off the 747 and transported to its permanent home at the science center next month.

Photo Credit: NASA/ Sheri Locke

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