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Scents of Science

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All the Water on Planet Earth

How much of planet Earth is made of water? Very little, actually. Although oceans of water cover about 70 percent of Earth's surface, these oceans are shallow compared to the Earth's radius. The featured illustration shows what would happen if all of the water on or near the... Continue Reading →

A Long Snaking Filament on the Sun

Earlier this month, the Sun exhibited one of the longer filaments on record. Visible as the bright curving streak around the image center, the snaking filament's full extent was estimated to be over half of the Sun's radius -- more than... Continue Reading →

Tarantula Stars R136 from Webb

Near the center of a nearby star-forming region lies a massive cluster containing some of the largest and hottest stars known. Collectively known as star cluster NGC 2070, these stars are part of the vast Tarantula Nebula and were captured in two kinds... Continue Reading →

Rocket Transits Rippling Sun

The launch of a rocket at sunrise can result in unusual but intriguing images that feature both the rocket and the Sun. Such was the case last month when a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket blasted off from NASA's Kennedy Space Center carrying 53 more Starlink satellites into low Earth orbit. In... Continue Reading →

The Lively Center of the Lagoon Nebula

The center of the Lagoon Nebula is a whirlwind of spectacular star formation. Visible near the image center, at least two long funnel-shaped clouds, each roughly half a light-year long, have been formed by extreme stellar winds and intense energetic starlight. A tremendously bright nearby star, Herschel 36,... Continue Reading →

Cygnus Mosaic 2010 – 2020

In brush strokes of interstellar dust and glowing gas, this beautiful skyscape is painted across the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy near the northern end of the Great Rift and the constellation Cygnus the Swan. Composed over a decade with 400 hours of image data, the broad... Continue Reading →

Recycling Cassiopeia A

Massive stars in our Milky Way Galaxy live spectacular lives. Collapsing from vast cosmic clouds, their nuclear furnaces ignite and create heavy elements in their cores. After a few million years, the enriched material is blasted back into interstellar space where star... Continue Reading →

The Iris Nebula in a Field of Dust

These cosmic dust clouds drift some 1,300 light-years away along the fertile starfields of the constellation Cepheus. The beautiful Iris Nebula, also known as NGC 7023, blossoms at the upper left. Not the only nebula in the sky to evoke the imagery... Continue Reading →

NGC 2170: Angel Nebula Still Life

Is this a painting or a photograph? In this classic celestial still life composed with a cosmic brush, dusty nebula NGC 2170, also known as the Angel Nebula, shines near the image center. Reflecting the light of nearby hot stars, NGC 2170 is joined by other... Continue Reading →

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