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NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC'S BEST SPACE PICTURES THIS WEEK CXX


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See a Twinkling Galaxy and a Cosmic Green 'Blob'
By Michael Greshko,
National Geographic News, 12 August 2016.

This week, a NASA spacecraft sees Ceres's dramatically cratered landscape, shadows drape Saturn's rings, and the night sky gets lit up by a supercharged meteor shower.

1. Hungry Little Fish

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Hubble looks out at Pisces B, a dwarf galaxy 30 million light-years away. Less than a hundred million years ago, it doubled its star formation rate - a sign that it fueled up by passing through dense gas.

2. Shadows and Satellites

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NASA's Cassini spacecraft captures the shadow of Saturn on the planet's rings. The moon Mimas is barely visible in the lower left as a cosmic dust mote against the blackness of space.

3. Green Giant

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Hanny's Voorwerp - the green blob seen here - glows because the central black hole of the nearby galaxy IC 2497 used to be firing out high-speed jets of radiation that lit up the cloud.

4. Greatest Hits

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NASA's Dawn spacecraft looked northward toward the limb of Ceres to capture this cratered vista. Rao Crater, the bottommost basin, is seven miles (12 kilometres) wide.

5. Shimmering Siblings

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Known as Messier 18, a cluster of bright blue stars in the upper left of this image provides a perfect cosmic laboratory to study stellar life cycles. That's because the cluster's stars formed together from the same gas and dust.

6. O Canada

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In February 2012, an astronaut aboard the International Space Station captured this picture of an aurora that spanned thousands of miles over northeastern Canada.

7. Falling Star

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A meteor streaks across the sky over Spruce Knob, West Virginia, during the annual Perseid meteor shower. Find out why this year's shower may be "supercharged" by Jupiter's gravity.

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

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