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NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC'S BEST SPACE PICTURES THIS WEEK LXVII


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Week's Best Space Pictures: Pluto Reveals a Freckled Face
By Maya Wei-Haas,
National Geographic News, 3 July 2015.

Feed your need for "heavenly" views of the universe with our picks of the most awe-inspiring space pictures. This week, researchers capture massive orbs blasting stardust and Pluto reveals two different faces.

1. Galactic Sparklers

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Many stars in the sparkling cluster NGC 1333 are less than two million years old - mere infants compared to other stars. This image combines X-ray, infrared, and visible light data, revealing a host of previously unknown stars.

2. Burning Bright

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Many of the tiny pinpricks of light in this galaxy are Wolf-Rayet stars - massive bodies 20 times larger and up to 40 times hotter than our sun. This intense burning comes at a cost: The monsters rapidly shrink as they blast stardust into space.

3. Frozen in Time

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Massive craters cover the surface of Ceres in this image captured by NASA's Dawn spacecraft. A remnant from the birth of our solar system, Ceres may help researchers figure out how our planets formed.

4. Nebulous Light

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This glowing nebula is in the constellation Scorpius, and is a remnant from a once bright star. Researchers are fascinated by the unusual combination of gasses in this giant cloud, which contains five times more nitrogen than our sun.

5. Hazy Skies

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Smoke from Canadian wildfires shrouds the United States' east coast in this image captured by a NASA Satellite. The fine particulate of the hazy skies will lead to brilliant sunrises and sunsets.

6. Two-faced

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Pluto reveals two faces in these images from the New Horizons spacecraft. The origin of the freckled face on the right is a mystery (each spot is about the area of Missouri). Scientists hope to learn more as the craft continues its approach.

7. Glowing Blue

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This brilliant array of glowing stars and gas lies at the outer edge of the Milky Way galaxy and was captured by researchers in Chile. Young stars of cluster NGC 2367 appear as hot, blue orbs among an assortment of ancient bodies.

Photo Editor: Sherry L. Brukbacher.

[Source: National Geographic News. Edited. Links added.]

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