Image: Southwestern Kazakhstan's Mangistau Region

This Kompsat-2 image was acquired over southwestern Kazakhstan's Mangistau region east of the Caspian Sea. Along the top of the image we can see water and wetlands, with eroded areas at the top and on the right. The majority of the image is dominated by flatland covered with low-lying vegetation.

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Image: Solar-electric Propulsion Thruster Firing

This image shows a cutting-edge solar-electric propulsion thruster in development at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., that uses xenon ions for propulsion. An earlier version of this solar-electric propulsion engine has been flying on NASA's Dawn mission to the asteroid belt.

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Video: Bay Area Space Fans Have Been Busy

It's Star Trek vs. Star Wars in the skies over San Francisco! Which would win in a battle, the Death Star or the Enterprise? Let us know in the comments!

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Image: Where Two Niles Meet

Though it moves just a tiny fraction of the water carried by the Amazon, Congo, or Niger rivers, the Nile is the world's longest river. Its main tributaries--the White Nile and the Blue Nile--meet in Khartoum, Sudan, a rain-poor city of nearly 2 million residents that relies on the Nile for irrigation. Well-watered crops line the river banks, and patchworks of croplands (including center-pivot irrigated fields) dot the city's outskirts.

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Satellite Video Captures a Week of Severe Weather

A new animation of satellite observations shows the clouds associated with several outbreaks of severe weather from May 15 to May 21, 2013, over the south central United States. Over the course of seven days many tornadoes touched down including two EF-4 tornadoes and one EF-5 tornado.

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ESO's Very Large Telescope celebrates 15 years of success

With this new view of a spectacular stellar nursery ESO is celebrating 15 years of the Very Large Telescope -- the world's most advanced optical instrument. This picture reveals thick clumps of dust silhouetted against the pink glowing gas cloud known to astronomers as IC 2944. These opaque blobs resemble drops of ink floating in a strawberry cocktail, their whimsical shapes sculpted by powerful radiation coming from the nearby brilliant young stars.

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Video: Starship Enterprise Rides a Balloon To The Edge of Space

Our model of STAR TREK's U.S.S. ENTERPRISE was launched into space on April 28th, 2013. The flight data computer shows that our U.S.S. Enterprise made it all the way up to 29,129 m or 95,568 ft. Top speed was 63 knots or 117 km/hr.

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Video: "Expo" by Joe Sill

Female astro-miner Shona has been mining under dangerous conditions on the moon for the past two years in order to pay for expensive medical treatments in hopes of save her bed-ridden daughter Darla, and now that her tour is completed, a younger astronaut Paige has come to replace her. Shona is reluctant to return to the world she once knew, but in meeting Paige realizes that returning to Earth isn't where she'll find peace - she will have to return home.

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Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada At Night As Seen From Orbit

One of the crew members aboard the International Space Station photographed this might image of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada on March 31, 2013.

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Stunning View Of Orion

This dramatic new image of cosmic clouds in the constellation of Orion reveals what seems to be a fiery ribbon in the sky. This orange glow represents faint light coming from grains of cold interstellar dust, at wavelengths too long for human eyes to see. It was observed by the ESO-operated Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) in Chile.

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More OnOrbit stories from May.