Saturday, 1 August 2015


Week's Best Space Pictures: Goodbye Pluto, Hello Volcanoes
By Jane J. Lee,
National Geographic News, 31 July 2015.

Feed your need for heavenly views of the universe with our picks of the most awe-inspiring space pictures. This week, Africa shines in the spotlight, celestial winds inflate a nebula, and Saturn's moon Tethys turns over a mystery.

1. Clear Skies


The Lagoon Nebula throws off a warm orange glow in an image taken by the Hubble space telescope. Fierce winds from incandescent stars and roiling clouds of gas fill the heart of this celestial object located 4,500 light-years away.

2. Miles Away


Clouds swirl across Africa in an image taken by the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) satellite. Scientists parked DSCOVR roughly a million miles away from Earth in order to observe space weather.

3. Moon Mosaic


Cassini's cameras reveal mysterious red arcs slicing across Saturn's moon Tethys. Astronomers don't know what the streaks are made of or why they're red, but the lines can stretch for hundreds of miles.

4. Trio


Three volcanoes rest at the centre of this image of the Kamchatka Peninsula in eastern Russia. One of the volcanoes, named Klyuchevskoy, hasn't had a major quiet period since it formed 6,000 years ago. Kamchatka hosts 29 active volcanoes.

5. Say Goodbye


The death throes of a dying star light up a cloud of gas in a rainbow of colours. This violent stage in the star's death will last about 10,000 years, whereupon NGC 6565 will then cool and shrink into a white dwarf.

6. A Hazy Look


Seven hours after New Horizon's closest approach to Pluto, the spacecraft aimed its camera back at the icy body. Backlit by the sun, the image shows a thick haze - up to 80 miles high - around the dwarf planet.

Photo gallery by Emily Jan.

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

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