09/03/2012 12:07 GMT

Nasa's Week In Pictures: Birth Of A Star, Jupiter's Moons And Apollo 9

Nasa's selected photos of the week capture other-worldly vistas of Earth and space, showing Jupiter's moons, a star being born, and pictures from the 1969 Apollo 9 mission.

As earthly commuters trudged back and forth to work, explosions were going off in the heavens, giving star gazers a glimpse of galaxies far, far away.

Among the most beautiful shots, young blue star clusters can be seen in a still of Galaxy Centaurus A from the Hubble Telescope (slide 7.) The cloud's odd squashed shape is due to the fact it has previously collided and merged with another galaxy.

As the hydrogen gas compresses, new stars are born, which can be seen in red star bursts scattered across the firmament.

Other interesting sights from inside Nasa HQ show how researchers are testing engine icing developments.

Engineers have set up some specially designed bars which emit a cloud of ice pressure, mimicking what airliners might experience in flight.

Engine icing occurs when ice crystals get sucked into a hot engine, melt and then re-freeze. As they build up, they can break off and cause damage.

Take a look at some more of the stunning pictures below.