Top 16 Space Pictures of 2011
Every year, I pick my favorite astronomical images over the past 12 months and collect them for your eyeball pleasure... and every year it gets harder. This year, when I listed out hundreds to choose from, I realized I had a problem. So I decided to break them up into categories and then post each group as a separate gallery. It was a huge amount of work, but when you see these glorious images, I hope you'll agree it was totally worth it.
This gallery shows my favorite images of objects in near-Earth orbit, or from near-Earth orbit. You'll see our hardware in space, and our lovely planet from above. They're all beautiful, and some are simply astonishing.
It's been a great year for space photography. Let's hope 2012 is even better.