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Our Beautiful Universe

OUR BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSE: Cassini maps icy Rhea
  The Saturn-facing surface of Rhea, imaged by Cassini. (NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute)   A close approach to Saturn’s moon Rhea by the Cassini spacecraft has revealed details of its icy surface that suggest major fault scarps cutting across the trailing hemisphere of the moon. These scarps gave bright radar... More
Published on Wednesday, 26 January 2011 16:01
OUR BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSE: Infrared aurora on Saturn
  Cassini reveals infrared aurora on Saturn. (NASA/JPL/Univ. of Arizona/Univ. of Leicester)   Compilation of data collected by Cassini’s visual and infrared mapping spectrometer (VIMS) has revealed images of the infrared aurora that stretches 1000km above the cloud tops. Here a composite false-colour VIMS... More
Published on Wednesday, 26 January 2011 15:40
OUR BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSE: Partial solar eclipse from Wiltshire
The sunrise partial solar eclipse of 4 January 2011, seen from the Ridgeway in Wiltshire, England. Image: Nick Howes   A dramatic view of the partially eclipsed Sun rising on 4 January 2011, made by amateur astronomer Nick Howes. Cloud cover blocked the view of the eclipse from much of the UK, but... More
Published on Tuesday, 04 January 2011 12:55
OUR BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSE: HAWK-I sharpens infrared views
  NGC1232 in the infrared, captured by the ESO's new HAWK-1 camera. (ESO/P Grosbøl)   NGC1232, an intermediate spiral galaxy some 65 million light-years away, as seen in the near-infrared with the European Southern Observatory’s HAWK-I camera. This is a false-colour image using blue for the Y band, green for J,... More
Published on Friday, 12 November 2010 09:49
OUR BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSE: Galactic centre? It's just up there...
  The laser from the VLT points directly at the galactic centre. (Y Beletsky/ESO)   This spectacular image shows the Milky Way above Yepun, one of the four 8.2m telescopes that make up the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope at Paranal, Chile. The 50cm wide laser beam from the telescope points... More
Published on Friday, 12 November 2010 09:37
OUR BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSE: Messier 17 through the Very Large Telescope
  Composite image of M17 made using data from the VLT. Credit: ESO / R. Chini   Using data from the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile, astronomers have made a super-detailed mosaic of Messier 17 (M17), a cloud of gas and dust (nebula) in the constellation of Sagittarius.  M17 is... More
Published on Wednesday, 03 November 2010 15:48
OUR BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSE: Jupiter without its Southern Equatorial Belt
Jupiter and Ganymede at 0040 GMT on September 4 2010.Image made using a Celestron C-14 Schmidt Cassegrain Telescope. Credit: Pete Lawrence,   In the autumn of 2010, the gas giant planet Jupiter is well placed for observation from the Earth. On September 21, the planet is at its closest to the... More
Published on Wednesday, 15 September 2010 12:00
OUR BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSE: Big Bear's sharp view of a sunspot
The highest ever resolution image of a sunspot, made with the New Solar Telescope at the Big Bear Solar Observatory. Credit: BBSO                                                                 Sunspots appear as temporary darker regions on the visible surface... More
Published on Wednesday, 01 September 2010 16:14
OUR BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSE: VISTA images the Tarantula nebula
VISTA image of the region around the Tarantula nebula. Credit: ESO   This new image from the UK-built Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy (VISTA) shows the vicinity of the Tarantula nebula, a vast cloud of gas and dust and the site of newly-forming stars. The region lies in a neighbouring galaxy, the... More
Published on Wednesday, 25 August 2010 10:04
OUR BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSE: Perseid meteor above the VLT
  A Perseid meteor over the VLT. Credit: ESO / Stephane Guisard   Each August sees the annual maximum of the Perseid meteor shower. Meteors or 'shooting stars' are the short-lived result of small particles entering the Earth's atmosphere at high speed. The vast majority of these particles are smaller than a grain of... More
Published on Tuesday, 17 August 2010 08:30