Saturday, 21 November 2015


Week’s Best Space Pictures: Seeing a Galaxy’s Heartbeat
By Michael Greshko,
National Geographic News, 20 November 2015.

Feed your need for heavenly views of the universe with our pick of the most awe-inspiring space pictures. This week, Iceland shows off its brilliant greens, and a dwarf galaxy packs a big surprise.

1. Lens Flare


The sun’s rays graze the very top of the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) telescope, located in Chile’s Atacama Desert. The 12-meter telescope images very cold gas and dust in the Milky Way and other galaxies.

2. Taking a Pulse


The enormous elliptical galaxy M87, located 53 million light-years from Earth, looms large in the Virgo galaxy cluster. In a recent study, astronomers estimated the galaxy’s age - 10 billion years - using the “heartbeats” of its pulsars.

3. Brand-New Scar


NASA’s Dawn spacecraft snapped a photo of a recent impact crater on the dwarf planet Ceres. The crater is about 16 miles (25 kilometres) in diameter.

4. Greener Land


NASA’s Terra spacecraft reveals Iceland’s varied landscape, as seasonal snow melts highlight the boundaries of its permanent ice caps, which appear here as smooth and rounded.

5. Little Galaxy, Big Questions


The Fornax dwarf galaxy’s globular clusters - balls of stars that orbit its centre - mysteriously mirror those found in the Milky Way, despite the dwarf galaxy’s youth and smaller size. Astronomers aren’t sure why.

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

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