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NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC'S BEST SPACE PICTURES THIS WEEK CIV


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Week's Best Space Pictures: Hubble Spots Our Galaxy's Center
By Michael Greshko,
National Geographic News, 1 April 2016.

This week, Saturn's rings glow brightly, satellites spot raging fires in Southeast Asia, and astronomers figure out what triggered a supernova that would have been visible from Earth just over a century ago.

1. Inner Sanctum

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This infrared image from the Hubble Space Telescope shows the center of the Milky Way, 27,000 light-years away from Earth. Sagittarius A*, the galaxy's central supermassive black hole, lurks inside this dense field of stars.

2. Where There's Smoke...

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The Suomi NPP satellite captured this image of small fires on the Indochina peninsula on March 19. Though many of the fires were lit intentionally, historic droughts are causing some to burn out of control.

3. Beautiful Disaster

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This X-ray image shows G1.9+0.3, the remnants of the Milky Way's most recent known supernova. Astronomers have determined that the supernova was ignited by the violent collision of two white dwarf stars.

4. Lakes on a Plain

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The Landsat 8 satellite spotted this kaleidoscopic string of salt lakes near western Australia's Frankland River. The lakes, formed from ancient river systems, are coloured by their sediments, chemistry, and aquatic life.

5. Prime Lighting

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NASA's Cassini spacecraft captured Saturn's moons Enceladus (left) and Janus (right) while the planet was backlit. Saturn's outer rings appear to glow brightly because of the way their dust particles scatter light.

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

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