Saturday, 13 August 2016


See a Twinkling Galaxy and a Cosmic Green 'Blob'
By Michael Greshko,
National Geographic News, 12 August 2016.

This week, a NASA spacecraft sees Ceres's dramatically cratered landscape, shadows drape Saturn's rings, and the night sky gets lit up by a supercharged meteor shower.

1. Hungry Little Fish


Hubble looks out at Pisces B, a dwarf galaxy 30 million light-years away. Less than a hundred million years ago, it doubled its star formation rate - a sign that it fueled up by passing through dense gas.

2. Shadows and Satellites


NASA's Cassini spacecraft captures the shadow of Saturn on the planet's rings. The moon Mimas is barely visible in the lower left as a cosmic dust mote against the blackness of space.

3. Green Giant


Hanny's Voorwerp - the green blob seen here - glows because the central black hole of the nearby galaxy IC 2497 used to be firing out high-speed jets of radiation that lit up the cloud.

4. Greatest Hits


NASA's Dawn spacecraft looked northward toward the limb of Ceres to capture this cratered vista. Rao Crater, the bottommost basin, is seven miles (12 kilometres) wide.

5. Shimmering Siblings


Known as Messier 18, a cluster of bright blue stars in the upper left of this image provides a perfect cosmic laboratory to study stellar life cycles. That's because the cluster's stars formed together from the same gas and dust.

6. O Canada


In February 2012, an astronaut aboard the International Space Station captured this picture of an aurora that spanned thousands of miles over northeastern Canada.

7. Falling Star


A meteor streaks across the sky over Spruce Knob, West Virginia, during the annual Perseid meteor shower. Find out why this year's shower may be "supercharged" by Jupiter's gravity.

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

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