Astronomy

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Via: NASA
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The Crab Nebula is cataloged as M1, the first object on Charles Messier's famous 18th century list of things which are not comets. In fact, the Crab is now known to be a supernova remnant, debris from the death explosion of a massive star, witnessed by astronomers in the year 1054. This sharp, ground-based telescopic view uses narrowband data to track emission from ionized oxygen and hydrogen atoms (in blue and red) and explore the tangled filaments within the still expanding cloud. One of the most exotic objects known to modern astronomers, the Crab Pulsar, a neutron star spinning 30 times a second, is visible as a bright spot near the nebula's center.
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By Unknown
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Comet Ikeya-Seki,long-period comet that is one of a group of Sun-grazing comets having similar orbits and including the great comet known as 1882 II. Comet Ikeya-Seki was discovered Sept. 18, 1965, by two Japanese amateur astronomers, Ikeya Kaoru and Seki Tsutomu. Moving in a retrograde orbit, the comet made its closest approach to the Sun on Oct. 21, 1965, at a distance less than a solar radius from the surface.

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Via: Discovery
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Presently, astronomers only have a short period of observations to forecast the comet's path through the inner solar system and they know the probability of Mars "taking one for the celestial team" on Oct. 19, 2014, is small — in all likelihood the comet will fly by, creating a wonderful astronomical event for Earth and Mars-based observers alike.
venus and mercury at sunset
Via: NASA
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Via NASA:

Inner planets Venus and Mercury can never wander far from the Sun in Earth's sky. This week you've probably seen them both gathered near the western horizon just after sunset, a close conjunction of bright celestial beacons in the fading twilight. The pair are framed in this early evening skyview captured on January 13 from the ruins of Szarvasko Castle in northwestern Hungary.
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