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Pictures of the year: Space

Sand dunes and smaller structures of scalloped sand are seen in south Melas Chasma on Mars, in this image released January 16, 2020. NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/Handout via REUTERS

Sand dunes and smaller structures of scalloped sand are seen in south Melas Chasma on Mars, in this image released January 16, 2020. NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/Handout via REUTERS

Sand dunes and smaller structures of scalloped sand are seen in south Melas Chasma on Mars, in this image released January 16, 2020. NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/Handout via REUTERS
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The swan-shaped Omega Nebula is seen in this composite image released January 7, 2020. NASA/Handout via REUTERS

The swan-shaped Omega Nebula is seen in this composite image released January 7, 2020. NASA/Handout via REUTERS

The swan-shaped Omega Nebula is seen in this composite image released January 7, 2020. NASA/Handout via REUTERS
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An illustration depicts high-altitude electrical storms on the dark side of Jupiter, in this image based on data from NASA's Juno mission and released August 5, 2020. NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Gerald Eichstadt/Handout via REUTERS

An illustration depicts high-altitude electrical storms on the dark side of Jupiter, in this image based on data from NASA's Juno mission and released August 5, 2020. NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Gerald Eichstadt/Handout via REUTERS

An illustration depicts high-altitude electrical storms on the dark side of Jupiter, in this image based on data from NASA's Juno mission and released August 5, 2020. NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Gerald Eichstadt/Handout via REUTERS
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An image shows the Sun's surface at the highest resolution ever taken, shot by the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST), the world's largest solar telescope, on the island of Maui, Hawaii, January 29, 2020. NSO/NSF/AURA/Handout via REUTERS

An image shows the Sun's surface at the highest resolution ever taken, shot by the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST), the world's largest solar telescope, on the island of Maui, Hawaii, January 29, 2020. NSO/NSF/AURA/Handout via REUTERS

An image shows the Sun's surface at the highest resolution ever taken, shot by the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST), the world's largest solar telescope, on the island of Maui, Hawaii, January 29, 2020. NSO/NSF/AURA/Handout via REUTERS
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Two types of sand dunes are seen on Mars in this image released January 16, 2020. The small dots are barchan dunes, which are upwind, and the long, linear tails are downwind. NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/Handout via REUTERS

Two types of sand dunes are seen on Mars in this image released January 16, 2020. The small dots are barchan dunes, which are upwind, and the long, linear tails are downwind. NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/Handout via REUTERS

Two types of sand dunes are seen on Mars in this image released January 16, 2020. The small dots are barchan dunes, which are upwind, and the long, linear tails are downwind. NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/Handout via REUTERS
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The spiral galaxy NGC 5643 in the constellation of Lupus (The Wolf), about 60 million light-years away from Earth, is seen in this image captured over nine hours of observation time and released October 2, 2020. The central glow is thought to be a result of glowing gas falling into a central massive black hole, scientists say. ESA/Hubble/NASA/Handout via REUTERS

The spiral galaxy NGC 5643 in the constellation of Lupus (The Wolf), about 60 million light-years away from Earth, is seen in this image captured over nine hours of observation time and released October 2, 2020. The central glow is thought to be a...more

The spiral galaxy NGC 5643 in the constellation of Lupus (The Wolf), about 60 million light-years away from Earth, is seen in this image captured over nine hours of observation time and released October 2, 2020. The central glow is thought to be a result of glowing gas falling into a central massive black hole, scientists say. ESA/Hubble/NASA/Handout via REUTERS
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The comet NEOWISE streaks above Earth, in this image taken aboard the International Space Station,  July 5, 2020. NASA/Handout via REUTERS

The comet NEOWISE streaks above Earth, in this image taken aboard the International Space Station,  July 5, 2020. NASA/Handout via REUTERS

The comet NEOWISE streaks above Earth, in this image taken aboard the International Space Station,  July 5, 2020. NASA/Handout via REUTERS
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Trails from dust devils are etched in dune fields in the southern latitudes of Mars, in this image released October 12, 2020. NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/Handout via REUTERS

Trails from dust devils are etched in dune fields in the southern latitudes of Mars, in this image released October 12, 2020. NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/Handout via REUTERS

Trails from dust devils are etched in dune fields in the southern latitudes of Mars, in this image released October 12, 2020. NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/Handout via REUTERS
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Cloud streets, a type of cloud formation, stream over the sea near Baffin Island (left), with chunks of sea ice visible on the coast, and Greenland (right) in this false color satellite image, March 2, 2020. NASA Earth Observatory/Joshua Stevens/Handout via REUTERS

Cloud streets, a type of cloud formation, stream over the sea near Baffin Island (left), with chunks of sea ice visible on the coast, and Greenland (right) in this false color satellite image, March 2, 2020. NASA Earth Observatory/Joshua...more

Cloud streets, a type of cloud formation, stream over the sea near Baffin Island (left), with chunks of sea ice visible on the coast, and Greenland (right) in this false color satellite image, March 2, 2020. NASA Earth Observatory/Joshua Stevens/Handout via REUTERS
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The star-forming nebula W51 in the constellation Aquila, one of the largest "star factories" in the Milky Way galaxy, is surrounded by clouds of interstellar dust, in this image captured by the Spitzer Space Telescope and released August 25, 2020. NASA/JPL-Caltech/Handout via REUTERS

The star-forming nebula W51 in the constellation Aquila, one of the largest "star factories" in the Milky Way galaxy, is surrounded by clouds of interstellar dust, in this image captured by the Spitzer Space Telescope and released August 25, 2020....more

The star-forming nebula W51 in the constellation Aquila, one of the largest "star factories" in the Milky Way galaxy, is surrounded by clouds of interstellar dust, in this image captured by the Spitzer Space Telescope and released August 25, 2020. NASA/JPL-Caltech/Handout via REUTERS
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Sunlight reflects off the Mediterranean Sea near the islands of Corsica, France (bottom) and Sardinia, Italy (center) as seen from the International Space Station looking south, February 21, 2020. NASA Earth Observatory/Handout via REUTERS

Sunlight reflects off the Mediterranean Sea near the islands of Corsica, France (bottom) and Sardinia, Italy (center) as seen from the International Space Station looking south, February 21, 2020. NASA Earth Observatory/Handout via REUTERS

Sunlight reflects off the Mediterranean Sea near the islands of Corsica, France (bottom) and Sardinia, Italy (center) as seen from the International Space Station looking south, February 21, 2020. NASA Earth Observatory/Handout via REUTERS
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The Blue Nile River is seen as the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam reservoir fills near the Ethiopia-Sudan border, in this broad spectral image taken November 6, 2020. NASA/METI/AIST/Japan Space Systems, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team/Handout via REUTERS

The Blue Nile River is seen as the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam reservoir fills near the Ethiopia-Sudan border, in this broad spectral image taken November 6, 2020. NASA/METI/AIST/Japan Space Systems, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team/Handout via...more

The Blue Nile River is seen as the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam reservoir fills near the Ethiopia-Sudan border, in this broad spectral image taken November 6, 2020. NASA/METI/AIST/Japan Space Systems, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team/Handout via REUTERS
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Cliffs of ancient ice are seen on the surface of Mars, featuring brown dusty cliff walls and light blue ice, August 15, 2020. NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/Handout via REUTERS

Cliffs of ancient ice are seen on the surface of Mars, featuring brown dusty cliff walls and light blue ice, August 15, 2020. NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/Handout via REUTERS

Cliffs of ancient ice are seen on the surface of Mars, featuring brown dusty cliff walls and light blue ice, August 15, 2020. NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/Handout via REUTERS
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The Proton-M carrier rocket with the Briz-M booster, Ekspress-80 and Ekspress-103 Russian telecommunication satellites blasts off from the launchpad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan July 31, 2020. Russian space agency Roscosmos/Handout via REUTERS

The Proton-M carrier rocket with the Briz-M booster, Ekspress-80 and Ekspress-103 Russian telecommunication satellites blasts off from the launchpad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan July 31, 2020. Russian space agency Roscosmos/Handout via...more

The Proton-M carrier rocket with the Briz-M booster, Ekspress-80 and Ekspress-103 Russian telecommunication satellites blasts off from the launchpad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan July 31, 2020. Russian space agency Roscosmos/Handout via REUTERS
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A cosmic homicide in action, with a wayward star being shredded by the intense gravitational pull of a black hole that contains tens of thousands of solar masses, is imagined in an artist's impression obtained April 2, 2020.   NASA-ESA/D. Player/Handout via REUTERS

A cosmic homicide in action, with a wayward star being shredded by the intense gravitational pull of a black hole that contains tens of thousands of solar masses, is imagined in an artist's impression obtained April 2, 2020.   NASA-ESA/D....more

A cosmic homicide in action, with a wayward star being shredded by the intense gravitational pull of a black hole that contains tens of thousands of solar masses, is imagined in an artist's impression obtained April 2, 2020.   NASA-ESA/D. Player/Handout via REUTERS
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Blooms of phytoplankton, which occur almost every year in late summer, are pushed by sea currents into swirling patterns in the Baltic Sea, off the coast of southeast Sweden, August 15, 2020. NASA Earth Observatory/Joshua Stevens/Handout via REUTERS

Blooms of phytoplankton, which occur almost every year in late summer, are pushed by sea currents into swirling patterns in the Baltic Sea, off the coast of southeast Sweden, August 15, 2020. NASA Earth Observatory/Joshua Stevens/Handout via REUTERS

Blooms of phytoplankton, which occur almost every year in late summer, are pushed by sea currents into swirling patterns in the Baltic Sea, off the coast of southeast Sweden, August 15, 2020. NASA Earth Observatory/Joshua Stevens/Handout via REUTERS
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People watch as a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, topped with the Crew Dragon capsule, is launched carrying four astronauts on the first operational NASA commercial crew mission at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, November 15, 2020. REUTERS/Joe Skipper

People watch as a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, topped with the Crew Dragon capsule, is launched carrying four astronauts on the first operational NASA commercial crew mission at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, November 15, 2020....more

People watch as a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, topped with the Crew Dragon capsule, is launched carrying four astronauts on the first operational NASA commercial crew mission at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, November 15, 2020. REUTERS/Joe Skipper
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Churning atmospheric jets are seen in Jupiter's northern latitudes, taken by NASA's Juno spacecraft on April 10, 2020. NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Kevin M. Gill/Handout via REUTERS

Churning atmospheric jets are seen in Jupiter's northern latitudes, taken by NASA's Juno spacecraft on April 10, 2020. NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Kevin M. Gill/Handout via REUTERS

Churning atmospheric jets are seen in Jupiter's northern latitudes, taken by NASA's Juno spacecraft on April 10, 2020. NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Kevin M. Gill/Handout via REUTERS
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Blue meltwater spans an area of about 90 miles (140 kilometers) on the George VI ice shelf in Antarctica, January 19, 2020. NASA Earth Observatory/Lauren Dauphin/Handout via REUTERS

Blue meltwater spans an area of about 90 miles (140 kilometers) on the George VI ice shelf in Antarctica, January 19, 2020. NASA Earth Observatory/Lauren Dauphin/Handout via REUTERS

Blue meltwater spans an area of about 90 miles (140 kilometers) on the George VI ice shelf in Antarctica, January 19, 2020. NASA Earth Observatory/Lauren Dauphin/Handout via REUTERS
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The galaxy cluster Abell 2744, with superheated gas glowing blue, is captured in this X-ray and optical image released September 2, 2020. Chandra X-ray Observatory Center/NASA/Handout via REUTERS

The galaxy cluster Abell 2744, with superheated gas glowing blue, is captured in this X-ray and optical image released September 2, 2020. Chandra X-ray Observatory Center/NASA/Handout via REUTERS

The galaxy cluster Abell 2744, with superheated gas glowing blue, is captured in this X-ray and optical image released September 2, 2020. Chandra X-ray Observatory Center/NASA/Handout via REUTERS
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Date palms and olive trees grow in thousands of center-pivot irrigated fields in Al Jowf, Saudi Arabia, in this image captured on 14 different wavelengths on February 17, 2020. NASA/METI/AIST/Japan Space Systems, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team/Handout via REUTERS

Date palms and olive trees grow in thousands of center-pivot irrigated fields in Al Jowf, Saudi Arabia, in this image captured on 14 different wavelengths on February 17, 2020. NASA/METI/AIST/Japan Space Systems, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science...more

Date palms and olive trees grow in thousands of center-pivot irrigated fields in Al Jowf, Saudi Arabia, in this image captured on 14 different wavelengths on February 17, 2020. NASA/METI/AIST/Japan Space Systems, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team/Handout via REUTERS
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A gully in the sand dunes of Matara Crater is seen on the surface of Mars, carved by seasonal dry ice that accumulates each year, March 19, 2020. NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/Handout via REUTERS

A gully in the sand dunes of Matara Crater is seen on the surface of Mars, carved by seasonal dry ice that accumulates each year, March 19, 2020. NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/Handout via REUTERS

A gully in the sand dunes of Matara Crater is seen on the surface of Mars, carved by seasonal dry ice that accumulates each year, March 19, 2020. NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/Handout via REUTERS
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The moon's shadow passes over China during an annular eclipse, as seen from the International Space Station, June 21, 2020. NASA Earth Observatory/Handout via REUTERS

The moon's shadow passes over China during an annular eclipse, as seen from the International Space Station, June 21, 2020. NASA Earth Observatory/Handout via REUTERS

The moon's shadow passes over China during an annular eclipse, as seen from the International Space Station, June 21, 2020. NASA Earth Observatory/Handout via REUTERS
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A crater is seen on the surface of Mars, in this image released June 2, 2020. The straight edge on the north rim of the crater could have been formed by a zone of joints or faults in the planet's crust that existed before the impact, or an uneven collapse of material that fell from the rim, according to scientists. NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/Handout via REUTERS

A crater is seen on the surface of Mars, in this image released June 2, 2020. The straight edge on the north rim of the crater could have been formed by a zone of joints or faults in the planet's crust that existed before the impact, or an uneven...more

A crater is seen on the surface of Mars, in this image released June 2, 2020. The straight edge on the north rim of the crater could have been formed by a zone of joints or faults in the planet's crust that existed before the impact, or an uneven collapse of material that fell from the rim, according to scientists. NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/Handout via REUTERS
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The Tarantula Nebula, including the starburst region of R136 where massive stars form (center left), is seen in this three-color infrared image captured by the Spitzer Space Telescope and released January 27, 2020. NASA/JPL-Caltech/Handout via REUTERS

The Tarantula Nebula, including the starburst region of R136 where massive stars form (center left), is seen in this three-color infrared image captured by the Spitzer Space Telescope and released January 27, 2020. NASA/JPL-Caltech/Handout via...more

The Tarantula Nebula, including the starburst region of R136 where massive stars form (center left), is seen in this three-color infrared image captured by the Spitzer Space Telescope and released January 27, 2020. NASA/JPL-Caltech/Handout via REUTERS
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Curling cloud patterns known as von Karman vortices are seen over Portugal's Madeira Island, north of the Canary Islands in the North Atlantic, July 9, 2020. NASA Earth Observatory/Joshua Stevens/Handout via REUTERS

Curling cloud patterns known as von Karman vortices are seen over Portugal's Madeira Island, north of the Canary Islands in the North Atlantic, July 9, 2020. NASA Earth Observatory/Joshua Stevens/Handout via REUTERS

Curling cloud patterns known as von Karman vortices are seen over Portugal's Madeira Island, north of the Canary Islands in the North Atlantic, July 9, 2020. NASA Earth Observatory/Joshua Stevens/Handout via REUTERS
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Cyclones at the north pole of Jupiter appear as swirls in this composite false color rendering from the NASA Juno mission, from data taken during close passes by the planet between February 17, 2020 and July 25, 2020. NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Gerald Eichstadt/Handout via REUTERS

Cyclones at the north pole of Jupiter appear as swirls in this composite false color rendering from the NASA Juno mission, from data taken during close passes by the planet between February 17, 2020 and July 25, 2020....more

Cyclones at the north pole of Jupiter appear as swirls in this composite false color rendering from the NASA Juno mission, from data taken during close passes by the planet between February 17, 2020 and July 25, 2020. NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Gerald Eichstadt/Handout via REUTERS
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Dust carried by hot, dry berg winds streams out of the Namib Desert, stretching from Dorob National Park to the port town of Walvis Bay, Namibia, and over the South Atlantic Ocean, July 17, 2020. NASA Earth Observatory/Lauren Dauphin/Handout via REUTERS

Dust carried by hot, dry berg winds streams out of the Namib Desert, stretching from Dorob National Park to the port town of Walvis Bay, Namibia, and over the South Atlantic Ocean, July 17, 2020. NASA Earth Observatory/Lauren Dauphin/Handout via...more

Dust carried by hot, dry berg winds streams out of the Namib Desert, stretching from Dorob National Park to the port town of Walvis Bay, Namibia, and over the South Atlantic Ocean, July 17, 2020. NASA Earth Observatory/Lauren Dauphin/Handout via REUTERS
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Many colorful stars are packed close together in the globular cluster NGC 1805 in the Dorado constellation, in this image released September 11, 2020. ESA/Hubble/NASA/J. Kalirai/Handout via REUTERS

Many colorful stars are packed close together in the globular cluster NGC 1805 in the Dorado constellation, in this image released September 11, 2020. ESA/Hubble/NASA/J. Kalirai/Handout via REUTERS

Many colorful stars are packed close together in the globular cluster NGC 1805 in the Dorado constellation, in this image released September 11, 2020. ESA/Hubble/NASA/J. Kalirai/Handout via REUTERS
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Sedimentary layers of sand are seen in southern Holden Crater on Mars, April 13, 2020. NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/Handout via REUTERS

Sedimentary layers of sand are seen in southern Holden Crater on Mars, April 13, 2020. NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/Handout via REUTERS

Sedimentary layers of sand are seen in southern Holden Crater on Mars, April 13, 2020. NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/Handout via REUTERS
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