“The week in pictures” highlights the amazing discoveries and cutting-edge research that resulted in magnificent photos and illustrations in the past week’s Astronomy.com News section. Scroll through the photos, comment on your favorites, and click links to learn more about the science behind the pictures. We hope “The week in pictures” will not only highlight all our beautiful universe has to offer but also summarize the important stories of the past seven days in case you missed anything.
The week in pictures: December 17–30, 2011
These past two weeks saw the confirmation of the first Earth-sized exoplanets, the discovery of an active galaxy at the dawn of time, a young pulsar that's rotating slowly, beautiful images of the Saturn system, and more.