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NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC'S BEST SPACE PICTURES THIS WEEK LXVI


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Week's Best Space Pictures: Auroras Bloom and an Exoplanet 'Bleeds'
By Jane J. Lee,
National Geographic News, 26 June 2015.

Feed your need for heavenly views of the universe with our pick of the most awe-inspiring space pictures. This week, researchers capture echoes from a double star, engineers protect a billion-dollar telescope, and thawing patches of carbon dioxide etch gullies on the surface of Mars.

1. Echoes

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Double star Circinus X-1 (centre) has produced the brightest x-ray light echoes (black rings) ever observed. Located 30,700 light-years from Earth, the system is nicknamed 'Lord of the Rings.'

2. Mountain High

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An astronaut on the International Space Station (ISS) snapped a picture of the United State’s Cascade and Rocky Mountains, as well as Canada's Coast Mountains. An ISS solar array can be seen in the upper centre part of the frame.

3. Cloudy Tail

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A massive cloud of hydrogen streams from a Neptune-sized exoplanet due to the extreme radiation given off by the planet's star. Researchers have never seen this occur around such a small planet - dubbed GJ 436b - before.

4. Lines in the Sand

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Thawing patches of carbon dioxide frost create gullies at the edge of a Martian dune field in this satellite image. Scientists monitor changes in the planet's surface to track the formation of new features like gullies.

5. Multiple Moons

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Cassini captured crescent views of three of Saturn's many moons - Titan, Mimas, and Rhea. The largest moon in this picture is Titan, which is blurred by overlying layers of clouds.

6. Protection

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A NASA engineer places protective panels inside a test chamber for the James Webb Space telescope. The panels will absorb molecular contaminants that could harm the delicate instrument.

7. Auroras

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Crew members on the International Space Station got a front seat view of this week's auroras and captured this image.

Photo gallery by Emily Jan.

[Source: National Geographic News. Edited. Some links added.]

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