Astronomy

A gorgeous nebula
Via NASA
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Via NASA:
<blockquote>The W-shaped ridge of emission featured in this vivid skyscape is known as the Cygnus Wall. Part of a larger emission nebula with a distinctive outline popularly called The North America Nebula, the cosmic ridge spans about 20 light-years. Constructed using narrowband data to highlight the telltale reddish glow from ionized hydrogen atoms recombining with electrons, the two frame mosaic image follows an ionization front with fine details of dark, dusty forms in silhouette. Sculpted by energetic radiation from the region's young, hot, massive stars, the dark shapes inhabiting the view are clouds of cool gas and dust with stars likely forming within. The North America Nebula itself, NGC 7000, is about 1,500 light-years away.</blockquote>

discovery Astronomy science planet - 7353988608
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Scanning the heavens, you might very well miss the star Kepler-62. It's a rather typical star, slightly smaller, cooler, and more orange than the Sun, much like tens of billions of other stars in our galaxy. But it holds a surprise: It's orbited by at least five planets… and two of them are Earth-sized and orbit the star in its habitable zone!
funny, nasa, eclipse, awesome, astronomy, science,
Via NASA
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Via NASA:

What does the Earth look like during a total solar eclipse? It appears dark in the region where people see the eclipse, because that's where the shadow of the Moon falls. The shadow spot actually shoots across the Earth at nearly 2,000 kilometers per hour, darkening locations in its path for only a few minutes before moving on. The featured image shows the Earth during the total solar eclipse of 2006 March, as seen from the International Space Station. On Friday the Moon will move in front of the Sun once again, casting another distorted circular shadow that, this time, will zip over part of the north Atlantic Ocean.

 

Ganymede is full of water
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Via Washington Post:

NASA announced evidence on Thursday that Jupiter's largest moon, Ganymede, has a saltwater ocean under its icy surface. The ocean seems to have more water than all the water on Earth's surface, according to new Hubble observations.

Scientists estimate that the ocean is 60 miles thick, which is about 10 times deeper than Earth's oceans. But unlike our salty waters, Ganymede's ocean is buried under 95 miles of ice.

constellations reflected in the lagoon
Via NASA
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Via NASA:

Several key conditions came together to create this award-winning shot. These included a dark night, few clouds, an epic auroral display, and a body of water that was both calm enough and unfrozen enough to show reflected stars. The featured skyscape of activity and serenity appeared over Iceland's Vatnajökull Glacier a year ago January, with the Jökulsárlón Iceberg Lagoon captured in the foreground. Aurora filled skies continue to be common near Earth's poles as our Sun, near Solar Maximum, continues to expel energetic clouds of plasma into the Solar System.
mercury is a strange and alien place
Via NASA
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Via NASA:

The sprawling Caloris basin on Mercury is one of the solar system's largest impact basins, created during the early history of the solar system by the impact of a large asteroid-sized body. The multi-featured, fractured basin spans about 1,500 kilometers in this enhanced color mosaic based on image data from the Mercury-orbiting MESSENGER spacecraft. Mercury's youngest large impact basin, Caloris was subsequently filled in by lavas that appear orange in the mosaic. Craters made after the flooding have excavated material from beneath the surface lavas. Seen as contrasting blue hues, they likely offer a glimpse of the original basin floor material. Analysis of these craters suggests the thickness of the covering volcanic lava to be 2.5-3.5 kilometers. Orange splotches around the basin's perimeter are thought to be volcanic vents.
ceres has some interesting spots
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Via: Scientific American:

Whatever you call may call it, Ceres is one of the most geologically interesting and strange objects in the solar system. Its shape, size and composition—round, roughly the size of Texas and at least 20 percent water ice—place it at the poorly understood transition point between rocky worlds like Earth and icy worlds like Jupiter’s Europa, Saturn’s Enceladus, and other large moons of the outer solar system. Other than blurry Hubble Space Telescope images from 2004, its surface had scarcely been glimpsed until Dawn’s approach. As the spacecraft’s ion engines slowly push it toward Ceres, the dwarf planet’s details are now coming into focus, revealing tantalizing new details with practically every new image.
the tiny little dumbell nebula hangs right above it.
Via NASA
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Via NASA: 

Buffeted by the solar wind, Comet Lovejoy's crooked ion tail stretches over 3 degrees across this telescopic field of view, recorded on February 20. The starry background includes awesome bluish star Phi Persei below, and pretty planetary nebula M76 just above Lovejoy's long tail. Also known as the Little Dumbbell Nebula, after its brighter cousin M27 the Dumbbell Nebula, M76 is only a Full Moon's width away from the comet's greenish coma. Still shining in northern hemisphere skies, this Comet Lovejoy (C/2014 Q2) is outbound from the inner solar system some 10 light-minutes or 190 million kilometers from Earth. But the Little Dumbbell actually lies over 3 thousand light-years away. Now sweeping steadily north toward the constellation Cassiopeia Comet Lovejoy is fading more slowly than predicted and is still a good target for small telescopes.