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Scents of Science

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Space & Universe

Spiral Galaxy NGC 6744

Beautiful spiral galaxy NGC 6744 is nearly 175,000 light-years across, larger than our own Milky Way. It lies some 30 million light-years distant in the southern constellation Pavo and appears as only a faint, extended object in small telescopes. We see the... Continue Reading →

Hoag’s Object: A Nearly Perfect Ring Galaxy

Is this one galaxy or two? This question came to light in 1950 when astronomer Arthur Hoag chanced upon this unusual extragalactic object. On the outside is a ring dominated by bright blue stars, while near the center lies a ball of much redder... Continue Reading →

Global geologic map of Titan

The first map of the global geology of Saturn's largest moon, Titan, has been completed, revealing a dynamic world with dunes, lakes, plains, craters and other terrains. The map is based on data from the international Cassini mission, which performed more than... Continue Reading →

Stars Are Being Born in the Depths of a Black Hole

Located about 5.8 billion light years from Earth in the Phoenix Constellation, astronomers have confirmed the first example of a galaxy cluster where large numbers of stars are being born at its core.  Galaxy clusters are the largest structures in... Continue Reading →

Apollo 12: Self-Portrait

Is this image art? 50 years ago, Apollo 12 astronaut-photographer Charles "Pete" Conrad recorded this masterpiece while documenting colleague Alan Bean's lunar soil collection activities on Oceanus Procellarum. The featured image is dramatic and stark. The harsh environment of the Moon's Ocean of Storms is echoed in Bean's helmet, a... Continue Reading →

Astronauts Complete First Excursion to Repair Cosmic Particle Detector

Station Commander ​​Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency conducts repairs while attached to the space station’s robotic arm during the first spacewalk to repair the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer on Nov. 15, 2019. He and ​NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan (out of frame) worked for more than six... Continue Reading →

Highest-energy light from a gamma-ray burst ever

Gamma-ray bursts are the most powerful explosions in the cosmos. These explosive events last a fraction of a second to several minutes and emit the same amount of gamma rays as all the stars in the universe combined. Such extreme... Continue Reading →

Voyager 2 reaches interstellar space

Voyager 1 has a companion in the realm of the stars. Researchers at the University of Iowa report that the spacecraft Voyager 2 has entered the interstellar medium (ISM), the region of space outside the bubble-shaped boundary produced by wind... Continue Reading →

Jupiter’s Cloud Tops: From High to Low

This view from NASA's Juno spacecraft captures colorful, intricate patterns in a jet stream region of Jupiter's northern hemisphere known as "Jet N3." Jupiter's cloud tops do not form a simple, flat surface. Data from Juno helped scientists discover that the swirling... Continue Reading →

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