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NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC'S BEST SPACE PICTURES THIS WEEK LXXXII


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Week’s Best Space Pictures: Curiosity Snaps a Selfie
By Jane J. Lee,
National Geographic News, 16 October 2015.

Feed your need for heavenly views of the universe with our pick of the most awe-inspiring space pictures. This week, we get a glimpse of fall colours from space, see the remains of a supernova ballooning into a cloud of space stuff, and get a good-morning greeting from an astronaut in space.

1. Remnants

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Hot gas (blue) from a supernova expands to fill the shell (greenish-yellow) left over by the explosion. A molecular cloud (red) surrounds the supernova remnant while stars peek through as bright points of light.

2. Morning Light Show

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Astronaut Scott Kelly snapped an image of the aurora from the International Space Station as the sun came up. Kelly, who is spending a year in space, tweeted the photograph to his followers.

3. Odd Couple

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Two of Saturn's moons, Mimas (foreground) and Pandora, share a neighbourhood but not a background. The elongated Pandora likely formed by gathering ring particles onto a dense core, while Mimas' gravity shaped the moon into a sphere.

4. Martian Cone

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A cone-shaped mound stands out in a region of Mars known for its flat-topped hills. The formation is similar to mounds of cooled lava on Earth that have had their surrounding sediment eroded away.

5. Wish You Were Here

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The Mars rover Curiosity snapped a selfie - actually made of dozens of images stitched together - at the "Big Sky" site on Mount Sharp. The camera that took the photos isn't visible, although its shadow is.

6. Sun's Hole

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The darker region near the top of the sun is called a coronal hole. It's an opening in the sun's magnetic field that allows solar material out into space. This hole produced a geomagnetic storm near Earth that sparked several nights of auroras.

7. Fall From Space

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A NASA satellite captured the fall foliage around the Great Lakes in North America earlier this week. The leaves have started turning from green to red, brown, and orange.

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

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