The unassuming little point of light in the centre of this image is something really quite special. Just 6000 light years away, it's the oldest star ever discovered. Going by the designation of SMSS J031300.36-670839.3, this star is older than the very galaxy which we live in, and formed when the Universe itself was still young.
"Cool" is finding out that dolphins are among the handful of species on Earth that can recognize themselves in the mirror. "Cooler" is finding out that dolphins "name" themselves from a young age with a signature whistle used to signal their identity to other dolphins.
Being pulled into the world of a gripping novel can trigger actual, measurable changes in the brain that linger for at least five days after reading, scientists have said.
The new research, carried out at Emory University in the US, found that reading a good book may cause heightened connectivity in the brain and neurological changes that persist in a similar way to muscle memory.
Why does this galaxy have such a long tail? In this stunning vista, based on image data from the Hubble Legacy Archive, distant galaxies form a dramatic backdrop for disrupted spiral galaxy Arp 188, the Tadpole Galaxy. The cosmic tadpole is a mere 420 million light-years distant toward the northern constellation Draco. Its eye-catching tail is about 280 thousand light-years long and features massive, bright blue star clusters. One story goes that a more compact intruder galaxy crossed in front of Arp 188 - from right to left in this view - and was slung around behind the Tadpole by their gravitational attraction. During the close encounter, tidal forces drew out the spiral galaxy's stars, gas, and dust forming the spectacular tail.
This is an amazing mission that will conduct the largest, most precise three-dimensional map of our Galaxy a census of a thousand million stars in our Galaxy. It will monitor each of its target stars about 70 times during a five-year period, precisely charting their positions, distances, movements, and changes in brightness. Gaia is expected to discover hundreds of thousands of new celestial objects, such as extra-solar planets and brown dwarfs and quasars. Within our own Solar System, Gaia should also observe hundreds of thousands of asteroids. The spacecraft will also develop new tests for Einstein's General Theory of Relativity.