From our vantage point in the Milky Way Galaxy, we see NGC 3344 face-on. Nearly 40,000 light-years across, the big, beautiful spiral galaxy is located just 20 million light-years away in the constellation of Leo Minor. This multi-color Hubble Space Telescope close-up of NGC 3344 includes remarkable details from near infrared to ultraviolet wavelengths. The […]
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Colourful star trails arc through the night in this wide-angle mountain and skyscape. From a rotating planet, the digitally added consecutive exposures were made with a camera fixed to a tripod and looking south, over northern Iran’s Alborz Mountain range. The stars trace concentric arcs around the planet’s south celestial pole, below the scene’s rugged […]
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Last week, a car orbited the Earth. The car, created by humans and robots on the Earth, was launched by the SpaceX Company to demonstrate the ability of its Falcon Heavy Rocket to place spacecraft out in the Solar System. Purposely fashioned to be whimsical, the iconic car was thought a better demonstration object than […]
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Happy New Year everybody! To begin the year we’re doing something a little different. This month’s image is taken by Afsheen Rane, an amateur astronomer at University of Toronto. Photographed is the Orion Nebula (also known as Messier 42) which is around 1300 light years away from Earth. Its brightness allows it to be visible […]
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Fans of our fair planet might recognize the outlines of these cosmic clouds. On the left, bright emission outlined by dark, obscuring dust lanes seems to trace a continental shape, lending the popular name North America Nebula to the emission region cataloged as NGC 7000. To the right, just off the North America Nebula’s east […]
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June 2016: Picture of the Month

July 2, 2016
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crescent_view_pluto

This view of the night side of Pluto was captured by New Horizons last July when the spacecraft was 21000 kilometres from the planet (or 19 minutes after its closest approach). The photo also reveals the complex layers of the Plutonian’s hazy atmosphere. The landscape seen in the crescent view includes the southern areas of the nitrogen ice plains known as Sputnik Planum and the Norgay Montes.

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May 2016: Picture of the Month

June 4, 2016
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may_potd_ng5078

Two bright galaxies can be observed in this sharp telescopic field of view; barred spiral galaxy, NGC 5101 (top right), and the edge-on galaxy, NGC 5708 (bottom left). The two galaxies are separated by about 0.5 degrees (or the full width of the moon). Found within the constellation Hydra, both galaxies are estimated to be around 90 million light-years away and similar in size to that of our own galaxy.

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April 2016: Picture of the Month

May 2, 2016
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SDP81_alma_9602

The foreground galaxy, (shown in blue) taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, acts as a gravitational lens. Surrounding it is the background galaxy, taken by the Atacama Large Millimeter Array, (shown in red). The alignment is so precise that the distant galaxy is distorted into a ring around the foreground galaxy; the ring formation known as an Einstein ring.

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March 2016: Picture of the Month

April 2, 2016
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NGC6357_hubble_960Estimates made from distance, brightness and standard solar models had placed one star in the open cluster, Pismis 24, to be over 200 times the mass of the Sun. The star is the brightness object located at the top of the featured image. Even the component stars are still 100 times the mass of the Sun. At the bottom of the image, stars are still forming in the emission nebula NGC 6357.

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