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Our Beautiful Universe

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
OUR BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSE: Cold outflows from the Sculptor
  Data from the Atacama Large Millimetre Array show enormous outflows of molecular gas – cold carbon monoxide – from nearby galaxy NGC 253, the Sculptor galaxy. The image is a map of the velocity of the flow in three dimensions, with pink representing the fastest flow and red the slowest. This is a starburst galaxy,... More
Published on Monday, 01 June 2015 10:04
OUR BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSE: Mars’s great lost ocean
 Artist’s impression of how Mars may have looked about four billion years ago, with an ocean occupying almost half of the northern hemisphere. (ESO/M Kornmesser)   Maps of the isotopic composition of water in the atmosphere of Mars have shown just how much of the planet’s water has been lost to space, and... More
Published on Wednesday, 08 April 2015 09:47
OUR BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSE: Stars making stars
 Star-forming regions. (ESO) Open star cluster NGC6193 lies at the heart of this image within the southern constellation Ara (The Altar). Two hot giant stars amid the 30 bright young stars in the cluster illuminate the Rim Nebula (NGC6188), to the right, which appears to be forming pillars like those in well-known... More
Published on Wednesday, 01 April 2015 09:34
OUR BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSE: Planck’s galactic magnetic field
The magnetic field at the galactic centre. (ESA/Planck Collaboration M-A Miville-Deschênes, CNRS-IAS, Université Paris-XI, Orsay, France)  This is the magnetic field along the galactic plane, imaged from the polarized emission of dust detected by the Planck satellite. Planck operated between 2009 and 2013, and mapped... More
Published on Sunday, 08 February 2015 12:21
 Emission nebula IC2944. (ESO) This image, released to mark 15 years since first light at the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope, shows emission nebula IC2944, a cloud of gas and dust in the constellation Centaurus. Dark clots stand out against the red glow of hydrogen lit up by radiation from the many... More
Published on Sunday, 01 February 2015 12:09
OUR BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSE: Titan’s brighter sunglint
(NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. Arizona/Univ. Idaho) In 2009, a specular reflection from Saturn’s moon Titan established that the low-lying, flat areas on its surface were liquid, when Cassini first noticed this effect. Now this new near-infrared image from the spacecraft’s Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) shows... More
Published on Monday, 08 December 2014 14:46
OUR BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSE: Chandra’s vision: high energy universe
In celebration of NASA’s Chandra X-Ray Observatory’s 15th year of operation, the mission team has selected some highlights from Chandra’s vast dataset covering the high-energy universe. This is one of six new images selected to highlight Chandra’s contribution to understanding the universe by combining mission... More
Published on Monday, 01 December 2014 14:32
OUR BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSE: John Herschel’s discoveries in close-up
Two star-forming regions in the Milky Way, NGC 3603 (left) and NGC 3576 (right). (ESO/G Beccari)  Here, in one image from the European Southern Observatory’s Wide Field Imager at La Silla Observatory, Chile, are two star-formation regions in the Milky Way, both discovered by John Herschel in 1834. Herschel was... More
Published on Wednesday, 01 October 2014 09:14
OUR BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSE: Astrophotographers and space telescopes join forces
Centaurus A. (X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO; Optical: Rolf Olsen; Infrared: NASA/JPL-Caltech)  A new form of professional and amateur collaboration in astronomy has seen amateur astrophotographers combining their images with data from the Chandra and Spitzer space observatories in a multiwavelength project called Astro Pro-Am. The... More
Published on Sunday, 08 June 2014 10:49