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Pictures | Fri Dec 15, 2017 | 2:07pm EST

Pictures of the year: Space

An artist's impression shows what the very distant young galaxy A2744_YD4 might look like. This young galaxy, seen when the Universe was just 4 percent of its current age, is rich in dust. The observations also detected the glowing emission of ionized oxygen. This is the most distant and earliest detection of oxygen in the Universe. 

NASA/via REUTERS

An artist's impression shows what the very distant young galaxy A2744_YD4 might look like. This young galaxy, seen when the Universe was just 4 percent of its current age, is rich in dust. The observations also detected the glowing emission of...more

An artist's impression shows what the very distant young galaxy A2744_YD4 might look like. This young galaxy, seen when the Universe was just 4 percent of its current age, is rich in dust. The observations also detected the glowing emission of ionized oxygen. This is the most distant and earliest detection of oxygen in the Universe. NASA/via REUTERS
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An illustration shows the hot, dense, expanding cloud of debris stripped from two neutron stars just before they collided. The image was released to mark the first time scientists detected light tied to a gravitational-wave event from two merging neutron stars in the galaxy NGC 4993, located about 130 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Hydra. 


NASA/via REUTERS

An illustration shows the hot, dense, expanding cloud of debris stripped from two neutron stars just before they collided. The image was released to mark the first time scientists detected light tied to a gravitational-wave event from two merging...more

An illustration shows the hot, dense, expanding cloud of debris stripped from two neutron stars just before they collided. The image was released to mark the first time scientists detected light tied to a gravitational-wave event from two merging neutron stars in the galaxy NGC 4993, located about 130 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Hydra. NASA/via REUTERS
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An artist's concept shows a black hole with an accretion disk - a flat structure of material orbiting the black hole - and a jet of hot gas, called plasma.

NASA/JPL-Caltech/via REUTERS

An artist's concept shows a black hole with an accretion disk - a flat structure of material orbiting the black hole - and a jet of hot gas, called plasma. NASA/JPL-Caltech/via REUTERS

An artist's concept shows a black hole with an accretion disk - a flat structure of material orbiting the black hole - and a jet of hot gas, called plasma. NASA/JPL-Caltech/via REUTERS
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An image taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows spring in the Northern hemisphere, with snow made of carbon dioxide, or dry ice, covering dunes.

NASA/JPL/University of Arizona/via REUTERS

An image taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows spring in the Northern hemisphere, with snow made of carbon dioxide, or dry ice, covering dunes. NASA/JPL/University of...more

An image taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows spring in the Northern hemisphere, with snow made of carbon dioxide, or dry ice, covering dunes. NASA/JPL/University of Arizona/via REUTERS
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A composite image of the Crab Nebula, a supernova remnant, assembled by combining data from five telescopes spanning nearly the entire breadth of the electromagnetic spectrum: the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array, the Spitzer Space Telescope, the Hubble Space Telescope, the XMM-Newton Observatory, and the Chandra X-ray Observatory. 


NASA, ESA, NRAO/AUI/NSF and G. Dubner (University of Buenos Aires)/via REUTERS

A composite image of the Crab Nebula, a supernova remnant, assembled by combining data from five telescopes spanning nearly the entire breadth of the electromagnetic spectrum: the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array, the Spitzer Space Telescope, the...more

A composite image of the Crab Nebula, a supernova remnant, assembled by combining data from five telescopes spanning nearly the entire breadth of the electromagnetic spectrum: the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array, the Spitzer Space Telescope, the Hubble Space Telescope, the XMM-Newton Observatory, and the Chandra X-ray Observatory. NASA, ESA, NRAO/AUI/NSF and G. Dubner (University of Buenos Aires)/via REUTERS
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A medium-sized (M2) solar flare and a coronal mass ejection (CME) erupting from a large active region of the Sun in July. The flare lasted almost two hours.

NASA/GSFC/Solar Dynamics Observatory/via REUTERS

A medium-sized (M2) solar flare and a coronal mass ejection (CME) erupting from a large active region of the Sun in July. The flare lasted almost two hours. NASA/GSFC/Solar Dynamics Observatory/via REUTERS

A medium-sized (M2) solar flare and a coronal mass ejection (CME) erupting from a large active region of the Sun in July. The flare lasted almost two hours. NASA/GSFC/Solar Dynamics Observatory/via REUTERS
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The Calabash Nebula shows the death of a low-mass star like the Sun. This image taken by the Hubble Space Telescope shows the star going through a transformation from a red giant to a planetary nebula, during which it blows its outer layers of gas and dust out into the surrounding space.

NASA/ESA/via REUTERS

The Calabash Nebula shows the death of a low-mass star like the Sun. This image taken by the Hubble Space Telescope shows the star going through a transformation from a red giant to a planetary nebula, during which it blows its outer layers of gas...more

The Calabash Nebula shows the death of a low-mass star like the Sun. This image taken by the Hubble Space Telescope shows the star going through a transformation from a red giant to a planetary nebula, during which it blows its outer layers of gas and dust out into the surrounding space. NASA/ESA/via REUTERS
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The collision of two black holes - an event detected for the first time ever by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, or LIGO - is seen in this still from a computer simulation. 


SXS Project/California Institute of Technology/via REUTERS

The collision of two black holes - an event detected for the first time ever by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, or LIGO - is seen in this still from a computer simulation. SXS Project/California Institute of Technology/via...more

The collision of two black holes - an event detected for the first time ever by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, or LIGO - is seen in this still from a computer simulation. SXS Project/California Institute of Technology/via REUTERS
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A composite image of 21 separate photographs taken with a single fixed camera shows the solar eclipse as it creates the effect of a diamond ring at totality as seen from Clingmans Dome, the highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee, August 21, 2017. 


REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

A composite image of 21 separate photographs taken with a single fixed camera shows the solar eclipse as it creates the effect of a diamond ring at totality as seen from Clingmans Dome, the highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park,...more

A composite image of 21 separate photographs taken with a single fixed camera shows the solar eclipse as it creates the effect of a diamond ring at totality as seen from Clingmans Dome, the highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee, August 21, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
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A photo by a member of the Expedition 52 crew aboard the International Space Station shows one of the 16 sunrises they experience every day, as the orbiting laboratory travels around Earth. 

NASAvia REUTERS

A photo by a member of the Expedition 52 crew aboard the International Space Station shows one of the 16 sunrises they experience every day, as the orbiting laboratory travels around Earth. NASAvia REUTERS

A photo by a member of the Expedition 52 crew aboard the International Space Station shows one of the 16 sunrises they experience every day, as the orbiting laboratory travels around Earth. NASAvia REUTERS
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The Soyuz MS-05 spacecraft carrying the crew of Paolo Nespoli of Italy, Sergey Ryazanskiy of Russia and Randy Bresnik of the U.S. blasts off to the International Space Station from the launchpad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, July 28. 


REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov

The Soyuz MS-05 spacecraft carrying the crew of Paolo Nespoli of Italy, Sergey Ryazanskiy of Russia and Randy Bresnik of the U.S. blasts off to the International Space Station from the launchpad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, July 28....more

The Soyuz MS-05 spacecraft carrying the crew of Paolo Nespoli of Italy, Sergey Ryazanskiy of Russia and Randy Bresnik of the U.S. blasts off to the International Space Station from the launchpad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, July 28. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov
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Orbital ATK's Cygnus spacecraft approaches the International Space Station in a photo taken by Expedition 51 Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency, April 22. 


NASA/ESA/via REUTERS

Orbital ATK's Cygnus spacecraft approaches the International Space Station in a photo taken by Expedition 51 Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency, April 22. NASA/ESA/via REUTERS

Orbital ATK's Cygnus spacecraft approaches the International Space Station in a photo taken by Expedition 51 Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency, April 22. NASA/ESA/via REUTERS
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A photo taken in August by an astronaut aboard the International Space Station of solar evaporation ponds outside the city of Moab, Utah, part of an operation to mine potassium chloride. Each pond color indicates a different state of evaporation. The deep blue color is due to a dye that is added to a pond of potash brine and water in order to speed up the rate of heat absorption.

NASA/via REUTERS

A photo taken in August by an astronaut aboard the International Space Station of solar evaporation ponds outside the city of Moab, Utah, part of an operation to mine potassium chloride. Each pond color indicates a different state of evaporation. The...more

A photo taken in August by an astronaut aboard the International Space Station of solar evaporation ponds outside the city of Moab, Utah, part of an operation to mine potassium chloride. Each pond color indicates a different state of evaporation. The deep blue color is due to a dye that is added to a pond of potash brine and water in order to speed up the rate of heat absorption. NASA/via REUTERS
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An artist's rendering showing two merging black holes similar to those detected by Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory. 


Caltech/MIT/LIGO Laboratory/via REUTERS

An artist's rendering showing two merging black holes similar to those detected by Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory. Caltech/MIT/LIGO Laboratory/via REUTERS

An artist's rendering showing two merging black holes similar to those detected by Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory. Caltech/MIT/LIGO Laboratory/via REUTERS
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A composite image of the colliding galaxy clusters called Abell 3411 and Abell 3412. 

NASA/Chandra X-ray Observatory/via REUTERS

A composite image of the colliding galaxy clusters called Abell 3411 and Abell 3412. NASA/Chandra X-ray Observatory/via REUTERS

A composite image of the colliding galaxy clusters called Abell 3411 and Abell 3412. NASA/Chandra X-ray Observatory/via REUTERS
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A composite image showing the full western hemisphere at night.

NASA Earth Observatory image by Joshua Stevens, using Suomi NPP VIIRS data from Miguel Roman, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/via REUTERS

A composite image showing the full western hemisphere at night. NASA Earth Observatory image by Joshua Stevens, using Suomi NPP VIIRS data from Miguel Roman, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/via REUTERS

A composite image showing the full western hemisphere at night. NASA Earth Observatory image by Joshua Stevens, using Suomi NPP VIIRS data from Miguel Roman, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/via REUTERS
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This image, captured by the Hubble Space Telescope, shows the twisted cosmic knot NGC 2623 -- or Arp 243 -- located about 250 million light-years away in the constellation of Cancer (The Crab). NGC 2623's unusual shape is the result of a collision and merger between two separate galaxies.

NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope/via REUTERS

This image, captured by the Hubble Space Telescope, shows the twisted cosmic knot NGC 2623 -- or Arp 243 -- located about 250 million light-years away in the constellation of Cancer (The Crab). NGC 2623's unusual shape is the result of a collision...more

This image, captured by the Hubble Space Telescope, shows the twisted cosmic knot NGC 2623 -- or Arp 243 -- located about 250 million light-years away in the constellation of Cancer (The Crab). NGC 2623's unusual shape is the result of a collision and merger between two separate galaxies. NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope/via REUTERS
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An image shows R Aquarii, located at a distance of about 710 light years from Earth. It is not one star, but two: a small, dense white dwarf and a cool red, giant star.

NASA/Chandra X-ray Observatory/via REUTERS

An image shows R Aquarii, located at a distance of about 710 light years from Earth. It is not one star, but two: a small, dense white dwarf and a cool red, giant star. NASA/Chandra X-ray Observatory/via REUTERS

An image shows R Aquarii, located at a distance of about 710 light years from Earth. It is not one star, but two: a small, dense white dwarf and a cool red, giant star. NASA/Chandra X-ray Observatory/via REUTERS
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The F ring of Saturn shows multiple dusty strands, in this Cassini view showing three bright strands and a very faint fourth strand off to the right. The central strand is the core of the F ring. The other strands are not independent, but are sections of long spirals of material that wrap around Saturn. 

NASA, ESA/via REUTERS

The F ring of Saturn shows multiple dusty strands, in this Cassini view showing three bright strands and a very faint fourth strand off to the right. The central strand is the core of the F ring. The other strands are not independent, but are...more

The F ring of Saturn shows multiple dusty strands, in this Cassini view showing three bright strands and a very faint fourth strand off to the right. The central strand is the core of the F ring. The other strands are not independent, but are sections of long spirals of material that wrap around Saturn. NASA, ESA/via REUTERS
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A view of the surface of Mars, with flow features commonly found at the base of slopes. These features are bound by ridges that resemble terrestrial moraines, suggesting that these deposits are ice-rich, or may have been ice-rich in the past. 

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona/via REUTERS

A view of the surface of Mars, with flow features commonly found at the base of slopes. These features are bound by ridges that resemble terrestrial moraines, suggesting that these deposits are ice-rich, or may have been ice-rich in the past....more

A view of the surface of Mars, with flow features commonly found at the base of slopes. These features are bound by ridges that resemble terrestrial moraines, suggesting that these deposits are ice-rich, or may have been ice-rich in the past. NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona/via REUTERS
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A dwarf galaxy named NGC 5949 as captured by the Hubble Space Telescope.

NASA/ESA/Hubble Space Telescope/via REUTERS

A dwarf galaxy named NGC 5949 as captured by the Hubble Space Telescope. NASA/ESA/Hubble Space Telescope/via REUTERS

A dwarf galaxy named NGC 5949 as captured by the Hubble Space Telescope. NASA/ESA/Hubble Space Telescope/via REUTERS
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A young super star cluster known as Westerlund 1, a relatively young cluster at around three million years old compared to the Sun, which is some 4.6 billion years old. 

NASA/ESA/Hubble Space Telescope/via REUTERS

A young super star cluster known as Westerlund 1, a relatively young cluster at around three million years old compared to the Sun, which is some 4.6 billion years old. NASA/ESA/Hubble Space Telescope/via REUTERS

A young super star cluster known as Westerlund 1, a relatively young cluster at around three million years old compared to the Sun, which is some 4.6 billion years old. NASA/ESA/Hubble Space Telescope/via REUTERS
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A view of Saturn's moon Dione, looking toward the Saturn-facing side. When viewed from a distance with the sun directly behind Cassini, the larger, brighter craters stand out.

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute/via REUTERS

A view of Saturn's moon Dione, looking toward the Saturn-facing side. When viewed from a distance with the sun directly behind Cassini, the larger, brighter craters stand out. NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute/via REUTERS

A view of Saturn's moon Dione, looking toward the Saturn-facing side. When viewed from a distance with the sun directly behind Cassini, the larger, brighter craters stand out. NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute/via REUTERS
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The Soyuz MS-06 spacecraft carrying the crew of crew Joe Acaba and Mark Vande Hei of the the U.S., and Alexander Misurkin of Russia blasts off to the International Space Station from the launchpad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, September 13. 


REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov

The Soyuz MS-06 spacecraft carrying the crew of crew Joe Acaba and Mark Vande Hei of the the U.S., and Alexander Misurkin of Russia blasts off to the International Space Station from the launchpad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, September 13....more

The Soyuz MS-06 spacecraft carrying the crew of crew Joe Acaba and Mark Vande Hei of the the U.S., and Alexander Misurkin of Russia blasts off to the International Space Station from the launchpad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, September 13. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov
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The spacecraft Cassini is pictured above Saturn's northern hemisphere prior to making one of its Grand Finale dives in a NASA illustration. 


NASA/via REUTERS

The spacecraft Cassini is pictured above Saturn's northern hemisphere prior to making one of its Grand Finale dives in a NASA illustration. NASA/via REUTERS

The spacecraft Cassini is pictured above Saturn's northern hemisphere prior to making one of its Grand Finale dives in a NASA illustration. NASA/via REUTERS
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An image taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter  shows a mound that appears to have blocked the path of dunes as they move south (north is to the left in this image). Smaller dunes run perpendicular to some of the larger-scale dunes, probably indicating a shift in wind directions. 

NASA/JPL/University of Arizona/via REUTERS

An image taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows a mound that appears to have blocked the path of dunes as they move south (north is to the left in this image). Smaller dunes run perpendicular to some of the larger-scale dunes, probably...more

An image taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows a mound that appears to have blocked the path of dunes as they move south (north is to the left in this image). Smaller dunes run perpendicular to some of the larger-scale dunes, probably indicating a shift in wind directions. NASA/JPL/University of Arizona/via REUTERS
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The Diamond Ring effect is seen as the moon makes its final move over the sun during the total solar eclipse above Madras, Oregon, August 21. 


Aubrey Gemignani/NASA/via REUTERS

The Diamond Ring effect is seen as the moon makes its final move over the sun during the total solar eclipse above Madras, Oregon, August 21. Aubrey Gemignani/NASA/via REUTERS

The Diamond Ring effect is seen as the moon makes its final move over the sun during the total solar eclipse above Madras, Oregon, August 21. Aubrey Gemignani/NASA/via REUTERS
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A view of the NGC 4536 galaxy captured by the Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3. Located roughly 50 million light-years away in the constellation of Virgo (The Virgin), it is a hub of extreme star formation. 


NASA/Hubble Space Telescope/via REUTERS

A view of the NGC 4536 galaxy captured by the Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3. Located roughly 50 million light-years away in the constellation of Virgo (The Virgin), it is a hub of extreme star formation. NASA/Hubble Space Telescope/via REUTERS

A view of the NGC 4536 galaxy captured by the Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3. Located roughly 50 million light-years away in the constellation of Virgo (The Virgin), it is a hub of extreme star formation. NASA/Hubble Space Telescope/via REUTERS
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A rugged cliff edge in an image acquired by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment camera aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. 


NASA/JPL/University of Arizona/via REUTERS

A rugged cliff edge in an image acquired by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment camera aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. NASA/JPL/University of Arizona/via REUTERS

A rugged cliff edge in an image acquired by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment camera aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. NASA/JPL/University of Arizona/via REUTERS
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A photo of the rising moon from a vantage point in low Earth orbit, taken by NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik from the International Space Station.

NASA/via REUTERS

A photo of the rising moon from a vantage point in low Earth orbit, taken by NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik from the International Space Station. NASA/via REUTERS

A photo of the rising moon from a vantage point in low Earth orbit, taken by NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik from the International Space Station. NASA/via REUTERS
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An image from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows a late summer view in the Southern hemisphere of Mars. The Sun is low in the sky and subtle topography is accentuated in orbital images. 

 NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/via REUTERS

An image from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows a late summer view in the Southern hemisphere of Mars. The Sun is low in the sky and subtle topography is accentuated in orbital images. NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/via REUTERS

An image from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows a late summer view in the Southern hemisphere of Mars. The Sun is low in the sky and subtle topography is accentuated in orbital images. NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/via REUTERS
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An image photographed by NASA astronaut Jack Fischer shows the SpaceX Dragon capsule as it re-entered Earth's atmosphere before splashing down in the Pacific Ocean, July 3. 

NASA/via REUTERS

An image photographed by NASA astronaut Jack Fischer shows the SpaceX Dragon capsule as it re-entered Earth's atmosphere before splashing down in the Pacific Ocean, July 3. NASA/via REUTERS

An image photographed by NASA astronaut Jack Fischer shows the SpaceX Dragon capsule as it re-entered Earth's atmosphere before splashing down in the Pacific Ocean, July 3. NASA/via REUTERS
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One of the last looks at Saturn and its main rings from a distance as captured by the spacecraft Cassini. When the spacecraft arrived at Saturn in 2004, the planet's northern hemisphere, seen here at top, was in darkness as it emerged from winter. Now at journey's end, the entire north pole is bathed in the continuous sunlight of summer.

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute/via REUTERS

One of the last looks at Saturn and its main rings from a distance as captured by the spacecraft Cassini. When the spacecraft arrived at Saturn in 2004, the planet's northern hemisphere, seen here at top, was in darkness as it emerged from winter....more

One of the last looks at Saturn and its main rings from a distance as captured by the spacecraft Cassini. When the spacecraft arrived at Saturn in 2004, the planet's northern hemisphere, seen here at top, was in darkness as it emerged from winter. Now at journey's end, the entire north pole is bathed in the continuous sunlight of summer. NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute/via REUTERS
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An image from the JunoCam imager on NASA's Juno spacecraft shows Jupiter's Great Red Spot fading from view while the dynamic bands of the southern region of Jupiter come into focus. 



NASA/via REUTERS

An image from the JunoCam imager on NASA's Juno spacecraft shows Jupiter's Great Red Spot fading from view while the dynamic bands of the southern region of Jupiter come into focus. NASA/via REUTERS

An image from the JunoCam imager on NASA's Juno spacecraft shows Jupiter's Great Red Spot fading from view while the dynamic bands of the southern region of Jupiter come into focus. NASA/via REUTERS
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The sun is obscured by the moon during a solar eclipse as seen from an Alaska Airlines commercial jet at 40,000 feet above the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Depoe Bay, Oregon, August 21.

REUTERS/Jim Urquhart

The sun is obscured by the moon during a solar eclipse as seen from an Alaska Airlines commercial jet at 40,000 feet above the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Depoe Bay, Oregon, August 21. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart

The sun is obscured by the moon during a solar eclipse as seen from an Alaska Airlines commercial jet at 40,000 feet above the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Depoe Bay, Oregon, August 21. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart
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