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Comet Lovejoy by Cdr Dan Burbank @astrocoastie, on launch day. One of the first who spotted it. (by André Kuipers)

Remnants of a Supernova

This Hubble Space Telescope image shows debris from the massive Cassiopeia A supernova arranged into thousands of small, cooling knots of gas. Each clump, originally just a small fragment of the star, is tens of times larger than the diameter of our solar system.


(Source: lori-rocks)


Check out Wired’s gallery In focus: European Southern Observatory celebrates 50-year anniversary for some amazing images from one of the world’s leading astronomical institutions. 

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NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope offers an unprecedented close-up view of a turbulent firestorm of starbirth along a nearly edge-on dust disk girdling Centaurus A, the nearest active galaxy to Earth.Brilliant clusters of young blue stars lie along the edge of the dark dust rift. 

Images of the Aurora Borealis taken from Williamsville NY in 1991

(Source: astronight.com)

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Huang Cheng brings us into outer space with this series of star-based works. Turn off your lights and just try to comprehend the impossible vastness of the cosmos, the countless suns beaming light outwards through time and space.

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Atoms Alien to Our Solar System Detected

Early this year, NASA’s Interstellar Boundary Explorer, the centerpiece of a $169 million mission mapping the frontier of the sun’s influence, detected atoms from interstellar space streaming by Earth that are different from the chemical make-up of the solar system. 

“Our solar system is different than the space right outside it, suggesting two possibilities,” said David McComas, IBEX principal investigator, at the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. “Either the solar system evolved in a separate, more oxygen-rich part of the galaxy than where we currently reside, or a great deal of critical, life-giving oxygen lies trapped in interstellar dust grains or ices, unable to move freely throughout space.”

The IBEX satellite observed hydrogen, oxygen, neon and helium atoms that originated in interstellar space, the vacuous medium between stars in the Milky Way galaxy and found 74 oxygen atoms for every 20 neon atoms in the interstellar material, compared with 111 oxygen atoms for every 20 neon atoms inside the solar system. Most of the interstellar medium is made up of hydrogen and helium. Heavier elements, such as oxygen and neon, are spread by exploding supernovae at the end of a star’s life cycle, according to NASA.

(via dailygalaxy)

The North America and Pelican Nebula shot from the Youngs Farm Observatory

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Richard Supera - Under the Milky Way