A monster star in the making, a Martian volcano, Earth's 'selfie' and Curiosity's successor – in pictures

This swirl of gas reminiscent of the
time tunnel in the 1960s TV series of the
same name, is the centre of galaxy NGC
524. Located in the constellation of
Pisces some 90m light-years from Earth,
it is a 'lenticular' galaxy – believed to be
an intermediate state between elliptical
and spiral galaxies. Spirals have vast,
pinwheel arms that contain millions of
stars. Accompanying these are clouds of
gas and dust where new stars are born.
When most of the gas has dispersed, the
arms fade and the spiral shape weakens.
What remains is a lenticular galaxy: a
bright disc full of old, red stars
surrounded by what little gas and dust
the galaxy has managed to cling on to
Hubble Space Telescope/Nasa/ESA
Our pick of the best space-related
imagery includes the birth of a star
that will one day be 100 times the
mass of the sun, lava flows from the
largest volcano in the solar system, a
picture of Earth from 1.44bn
kilometres away and plans for the
next Mars rover