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Our Beautiful Universe

OUR BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSE: Radioactivity maps Cas A detonation
Supernova remnant Cassiopeia A. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/CXC/SAO) NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array – NuSTAR – has made the first map of the distribution of radioactive titanium-44 in supernova remnant Cassiopeia A. In the image, the distribution of 44Ti is shown in blue, where NuSTAR detected X-rays at energies... More
Published on Thursday, 01 May 2014 00:00
OUR BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSE: A fresh impact on Mars
A relatively new impact crater on Mars, about 30m diameter. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona) This image from the HiRISE (High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows a fresh impact crater at 3.7°N, 53.4°E. The image was taken on 19 November 2013, in response to changes... More
Published on Tuesday, 01 April 2014 00:00
OUR BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSE: Dawn delivers composition maps of Vesta
Mineral flow on the asteroid Vesta. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLAMPS/DLR/IDA)  Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany, have used the multiwavelength filters on NASA’s Dawn spacecraft to create compositional maps of the surface of the asteroid Vesta, which Dawn... More
Published on Saturday, 01 February 2014 14:10
Jets stream away from the young star Herbig-Haro 46/47 in the southern sky constellation of Vela. (ESO/ALMA [ESO/NAOJ/NRAO]/H Arce/B Reipurth) While still under construction, the Atacama Large Millimetre Array has produced this image of jets streaming away from a young star, including one previously unknown jet. The ALMA data... More
Published on Tuesday, 08 October 2013 00:00
The Carina Nebula. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)The infrared observatory Spitzer has been at work for 10 years, revealing the cool dusty regions where stars and planets form, as well as shedding light on planets, exoplanets, stars and galaxies. Spitzer data have brought a better understanding of the Milky Way’s spiral arm structure, led... More
Published on Tuesday, 01 October 2013 00:00
OUR BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSE: Cassini sees hurricane in Saturn’s hexagon
A false-colour image of the north polar region of Saturn using filters sensitive to near-infrared light: wavelengths of 890  nm are projected as blue, 728  nm as green, and 752  nm as red. Red indicates low clouds and green indicates high ones. The image was taken from a distance of 419,000  km.... More
Published on Saturday, 08 June 2013 00:00
OUR BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSE: Planetary nebula or microorganism?
Planetary nebula IC  1295. (ESO) This glowing green bubble is planetary nebula IC  1295, which lies about 3300  light-years away in the constellation Scutum. A star of around the same mass as the Sun shrinks to form a white dwarf at the end of its life, in the process becoming unstable and repeatedly ejecting gas,... More
Published on Saturday, 01 June 2013 00:00
OUR BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSE: WISE eyes on the Orion Nebula
M42, the Orion Nebula. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/WISE Team)The Orion Nebula (Messier 42) in infrared from NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer satellite. Hot stars appear blue, while cooler objects such as dust, appear green and red. The clump of young stars at the centre of the cloud are heating the hottest, white, dust. This... More
Published on Monday, 01 April 2013 00:00
OUR BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSE: Dark blue dot not so dark
  Antarctic ice, lit by the aurora australis.   Imagery from the new NASA–NOAA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership satellite have been combined to give a realistic set of images of the Earth at night, including sources of light as faint as a single ship at sea. The day–night band of the Visible Infrared... More
Published on Friday, 22 February 2013 00:00
  Carina Nebula. (ESO, VPHAS+ Consortium/Cambridge Astronomical Survey Unit)   The spectacular star-forming Carina Nebula has been captured in great detail by the VLT Survey Telescope at ESO’s Paranal Observatory. This picture was taken with the help of Sebastián Piñera, President of Chile, during his visit to... More
Published on Friday, 15 February 2013 00:00