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NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC'S BEST SPACE PICTURES THIS WEEK CXV


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See a Firework-Shaped Galaxy and Jupiter's Incredible Aurora
By Michael Greshko,
National Geographic News, 30 June 2016.

This week, mysterious bright spots on Ceres are finally unmasked, NASA's eye around Saturn celebrates a major anniversary, and Hubble spots the spectacular auroras hovering over Jupiter's north pole.

1. Rocket's Red Glare

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These Hubble pictures reveal the tadpole galaxy Kiso 5639. Its "head," rich in hydrogen and helium, is a hotbed for star formation, as seen via the infrared (red) glow in the top image.

2. Giant's Light

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Ultraviolet images showcase Jupiter's auroras, which form when high-energy particles race down the planet's magnetic poles and collide with gas atoms. NASA's inbound Juno mission will study the auroras several times a month.

3. Bloomin' Ocean

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NASA's Suomi-NPP satellite spotted meltwater from Alaska’s glaciers flowing into the Gulf of Alaska. The meltwater (turquoise) carries the dusty remains of bedrock ground up by glaciers, which feeds phytoplankton blooms (green).

4. Iridescent Insides

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For the last hundred million years, the galaxy NGC 1569 - about 11 million light-years away - has produced stars a hundred times faster than the Milky Way. Huge star clusters are the brightest spots in the image.

5. Salty Spots

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A study published in Nature reveals that mysterious bright spots on Ceres are sodium carbonate salts. The bright spot in Occator Crater, seen here, is the largest such deposit in the solar system, aside from one on Earth.

6. A Dark Secret

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The object VLA J2130+12 - one of the pinpricks of light near the globular cluster M15 - was recently found to be a star orbiting a black hole, implying that the Milky Way contains more black holes than previously believed.

7. The Edge of Glory

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NASA's Cassini spacecraft spots Saturn's moon Enceladus and the planet's rings, seen here edge on. On July 1, Cassini will celebrate the 12th anniversary of its arrival in the Saturn system.

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

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