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NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC'S BEST SPACE PICTURES THIS WEEK LXXXVII


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Week’s Best Space Pictures: Seeing a Galaxy’s Heartbeat
By Michael Greshko,
National Geographic News, 20 November 2015.

Feed your need for heavenly views of the universe with our pick of the most awe-inspiring space pictures. This week, Iceland shows off its brilliant greens, and a dwarf galaxy packs a big surprise.

1. Lens Flare

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The sun’s rays graze the very top of the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) telescope, located in Chile’s Atacama Desert. The 12-meter telescope images very cold gas and dust in the Milky Way and other galaxies.

2. Taking a Pulse

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The enormous elliptical galaxy M87, located 53 million light-years from Earth, looms large in the Virgo galaxy cluster. In a recent study, astronomers estimated the galaxy’s age - 10 billion years - using the “heartbeats” of its pulsars.

3. Brand-New Scar

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NASA’s Dawn spacecraft snapped a photo of a recent impact crater on the dwarf planet Ceres. The crater is about 16 miles (25 kilometres) in diameter.

4. Greener Land

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NASA’s Terra spacecraft reveals Iceland’s varied landscape, as seasonal snow melts highlight the boundaries of its permanent ice caps, which appear here as smooth and rounded.

5. Little Galaxy, Big Questions

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The Fornax dwarf galaxy’s globular clusters - balls of stars that orbit its centre - mysteriously mirror those found in the Milky Way, despite the dwarf galaxy’s youth and smaller size. Astronomers aren’t sure why.

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

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