Friday, 8 April 2016


Week's Best Space Pictures: Mars Rover Spots Dust Devil
By Michael Greshko,
National Geographic News, 8 April 2016.

This week, astronomers find a big black hole in a strange location, Hubble reveals a hard-to-spot galaxy, and Mars shows off scars made by an ancient river system.

1. Extraterrestrial Twister


After trekking up a steep ridge, NASA's Opportunity rover stopped to look back at its tracks on March 31. To scientists' surprise, the rover's camera caught a Martian dust devil twisting through the valley below.

2. Remnant Ripples


NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spied deposits from at least three bygone rivers in Jezero Crater, a nearly 30-mile-wide (48-kilometre-wide) crater next to Mars' Isidis Planitia lowland.

3. Taking Cover


Clouds hover low over the Yellow Sea and the East China Sea, as captured by NASA's Aqua satellite on April 1.

4. Heavy Hitter


The mightiest supermassive black holes are usually found in crowded galaxy clusters. But on April 6 astronomers announced a shockingly hefty black hole, weighing 17 billion suns, in a sparsely populated area of the universe.

5. Distant and Dim


Hubble captured this image of the galaxy UGC 477, located just over 110 million light-years away. It's incredibly faint and difficult to detect, since it carries most of its mass as hydrogen gas rather than stars.

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

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