Saturday, 11 July 2015


Week's Best Space Pictures: Black Hole Bursts, Storms Swirl
By Jane J. Lee,
National Geographic News, 10 July 2015.

Feed your need for heavenly views of the universe with our pick of the most awe-inspiring space pictures. This week, Saturn's rings "pierce" one of its moons and a mission to bring back a piece of an asteroid gets one step closer to launch.

1. Bull's-Eye

Picture of a black hole with xrays that look like bullseye
Photographs by Andrew Beardmore (Univ. of Leicester) and NASA/Swift

X-ray light (red) ripples out from an erupting black hole within the binary system V404 Cygni. Technically, the ripples are echoes. They form when x-ray jets from the black hole bounce off surrounding dust particles.

2. Shot Through The Heart


In this image, Saturn's rings seem to skewer Dione (centre), one of the planet's many moons. Enceladus (upper right), another of Saturn's moons, looks poised to roll down the rings and crash into Dione.

3. 1-2-3


Forecasters have their hands full in the western Pacific, with three storms swirling towards shore. Tropical Storm Linfa (left) and typhoon Chan-hom (center) are set to hit China's coast, while super typhoon Nangka (right) is north of Guam.

4. Cloudy


This hazy view of galaxy ESO 381-12 is likely due a collision in its relatively recent past. The impact resulted in the uneven cloud and clusters of stars that swirl around the galaxy.

5. Return to Sender


This instrument will measure visible and near infrared light from the Bennu asteroid after launching in September 2016. The mission includes plans to return asteroid samples to Earth for further study.

6. Solar Marble


Our sun glows in x-ray and ultraviolet light. High-energy x-rays are shown in blue, low-energy x-rays are green, and extreme ultraviolet light shines in yellow and green. Active regions flare up in bursts of white.

7. Revealed


Dark matter isn't so dark thanks to the VLT Survey telescope (VST). A new project using the VST studies the shape and location of dark matter (pink) indirectly by measuring how light is distorted as it passes clumps of dark matter.

Photo gallery by Emily Jan.

[Source: National Geographic News. Edited. Some links added.]

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