The Most Amazing Science Images Of The Week, August 13-17, 2012

This week's images span quite a range. For one, we've got a distant galaxy drifting away from other heavenly bodies. But on the other end of that, we look at technology that can reconstruct a beard down to the hair. It also includes this amazing photo of an air force base, two retired space shuttles meeting face-to-face, and more. Click the gallery to see them all.

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Endeavour and Atlantis
Two of NASA's retired space shuttles, Endeavour and Atlantis, come nose-to-nose at Kennedy Space Center while switching locations.NASA
Wildfire in Spain
Photographer Yaiza Mesa turned his lens toward the damage caused by a wildfire in Spain. So far, it has torched 3,000 hectares of land on the Canary Island of La Gomera.AP Photo/Yaiza Mesa
Stars in Cygnus X
NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope snagged this beautiful cosmic shot of the Cygnus X star formation. Color-coded, it shows the different ingredients required to create a star.NASA/JPL-Caltech/Harvard-Smithsonia CfA
Davis-Monthan AFB
A new project by Edward Burtynsky, Oil, documents our reliance on petroleum. The entire series makes even the most industrial areas, like this one of Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson, Arizona, into stunning artistic landscapes. See more great photojournalism by Burtynsky at American Photo.Photograph © Edward Burtynsky, courtesy Nicholas Metivier Gallery, Toronto / Howard Greenberg & Bryce Wolkowitz, New York
Chameleon 'Bot
Researchers at Harvard designed this soft robot, which can change color, pattern, and shape on demand. It's even stealthy enough to glow in infrared. Read more about it here.S. Morin, Harvard University
Remote Controlled Lifeguard
The Emergency Integrated Lifesaving Lanyard, or EMILY, demonstrated here at Old Town Beach in Westerly, R.I., can cruise at up to 28 mph. The battery-powered machine can save lives, and maybe even do it better than the real thing.AP Photo/Michelle R. Smith
Orion's Parachute
At the Neutral Buoyancy Lab, scientists test out the parachute for the Orion spacecraft, the manned Lockheed Martin vehicle being built for NASA.NASA/James Blair
Alligator Handling
Dave Castillo of Tampa picks up an eight-foot alligator at a performance in Virginia.AP Photo/The Daily News-Record, Nikki Fox
Beard Reconsctruction
New facial recognition technology from Disney Research can pick up on scruff down to the individual hair. Read more about it and see a video here.Disney Research
Lonely Galaxy
We're part of a big galaxy; others aren't so lucky. The galaxy DDO 190, for example, pictured here in an taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, is part of a small group of galaxies, but within that group it's separated like the nerdy kid at high school lunch. Still pretty, though.NASA/SSC