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Our Beautiful Universe

OUR BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSE: Grazing galaxies produce ephemeral eyelids
 Galaxies IC2163 (left) and NGC2207 (right) recently grazed past each other, triggering a tsunami of stars and gas in IC2163 and producing the dazzling eyelid-like features there. This ALMA image of carbon monoxide (orange), which revealed the motion of the gas in these features, is shown on top of Hubble image (blue) of... More
Published on Thursday, 01 December 2016 06:52
OUR BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSE: Landing Schiaparelli
(ESA/DLR/FU Berlin, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO)   Europe’s ExoMars Entry, Descent and Landing Demonstrator Module, Schiaparelli, will land on a relatively smooth, flat part of Meridiani Planum, just northwest of Endeavour Crater, on 19 October. In this topographic image, red and white represent higher ground, blue and purple,... More
Published on Saturday, 01 October 2016 13:12
The Crab Nebula. (NASA and ESA, J Hester [ASU] and M Weisskopf [NASA/GSFC])  This new Hubble Heritage image of the Crab nebula supernova remnant combines images taken in different wavelengths and at different times to give an impression of the evolution of this pulsar system. This image uses data from the Hubble Space... More
Published on Monday, 01 August 2016 10:16
 NGC 7635. (NASA, ESA and the Hubble Heritage Team [STScI/AURA])   The Bubble Nebula, NGC 7635, was discovered in 1787 by William Herschel and is shown here in a Hubble Space Telescope WFC3 image. The outer edge of the bubble – 7 light years across – comprises cold interstellar gas displaced by winds... More
Published on Wednesday, 01 June 2016 13:07
Artist’s impression of galaxy W2246-0526. (NRAO/AUI/NSF; D Berry/SkyWorks; ALMA [ESO/NAOJ/NRAO]) This is an artist’s impression of the most luminous galaxy in the universe, the hot dust-obscured galaxy (DOG) W2246-0526, using data from the Atacama Large Millimeter Array. Its extreme brightness – roughly 350 trillion... More
Published on Friday, 01 April 2016 16:46
OUR BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSE: Does Pluto have a mobile mantle?
  This detailed image of Pluto from NASA’s New Horizons mission shows a strip some 80km wide running from the informally named Al-Idrisi mountains in the northwest into Sputnik Planum, the icy plains that form the “heart” seen on the fly-by images. The terrain is surprisingly varied, with cratering, mountains up to... More
Published on Monday, 01 February 2016 10:36
OUR BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSE: The biggest picture of the Milky Way
Astronomers at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum have produced the largest ever astronomical image: a 46 billion pixel monster that takes up 194 Gb as a file. It is available as an online resource, which viewers can use to zoom in on areas of interest, or search for particular objects – this section shows Eta... More
Published on Tuesday, 01 December 2015 13:46
OUR BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSE: Looking into the galactic centre
  This striking image of the centre of the galaxy shows the galactic plane running from top to bottom, spanning more than 2° in the sky – about 900 light-years. It combines more than a month of data from ESA’s XMM-Newton X-ray observatory. Red corresponds to energies between 0.5 and 2 keV, green from 2 to... More
Published on Thursday, 08 October 2015 09:25
OUR BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSE: Bullseye! Head-on galaxy collision in our backyard
  A head-on collision between two galaxies only 30 million light-years away has produced a ring of intense star formation – like the Cartwheel Galaxy but 40 times closer to Earth. The ring arises when two galaxies of similar mass collide so that the smaller one moves towards the centre of the larger one along the... More
Published on Thursday, 01 October 2015 09:09
OUR BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSE: Odyssey hits 60,000 Mars orbits
 In June, NASA’s Mars Odyssey reached a milestone of 60,000 orbits since it arrived at the Red Planet in 2001. In those 14 years the orbiter has mapped Mars at high resolution, discovered that water ice is common in the martian subsurface, and provided data and communications support for other Mars missions. This image... More
Published on Saturday, 01 August 2015 11:14