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Our Beautiful Universe

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
OUR BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSE: Spectacular Saturn and its ring system from Cassini
  Saturn's rings. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute)   This enhanced colour image of Saturn was taken by the joint NASA, ESA and Italian Space Agency mission Cassini, capturing the system while the Sun was behind the planet. This unusual high-phase view is from about 19° below the ring plane and uses... More
Published on Friday, 08 February 2013 00:00
OUR BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSE: Swirling storms on Saturn
  Saturn's north pole. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI)   Cassini continues to explore Saturn and its moons and rings and has revealed striking cloud patterns at Saturn’s north pole, now in sunlight as the seasons change. Saturn’s north pole has been imaged in infrared in the past, revealing a hexagonal feature... More
Published on Friday, 01 February 2013 00:00
OUR BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSE: A superbubble in the LMC
  Multiwavelength image of a superbubble. (Optical: ESO. X-ray: NASA/CXC/U.Mich./S Oey. IR: NASA/JPL)     The image above shows a superbubble in the star-forming region LHA 120-N44 in the Large Magellanic Cloud. Massive stars in the cluster NGC 1929 at the centre have vigorous stellar winds and end... More
Published on Monday, 01 October 2012 00:00
OUR BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSE: Jet streams on Saturn
 A jet stream, shown in this near-infrared image from Cassini as a narrow orange band, cutting across the zones of Saturn’s atmosphere. Reds and oranges indicate clouds deep in the atmosphere, yellows and greens indicate intermediate clouds, and white and blue indicate high clouds and haze.... More
Published on Wednesday, 08 August 2012 00:00
  Centaurus A. (ALMA [ESO/NAOJ/NRAO], ESO/Y Beletsky)     This is what ALMA can show of the dusty centre of radio galaxy Centaurus A. ALMA, the Atacama Large Millimetre Array, is still under construction and is in its early science phase of observations, but is already the most powerful telescope of its... More
Published on Wednesday, 01 August 2012 00:00