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Taken by Prosper Henry, 1885. This photograph of the Ring Nebula in the constellation Lyra shows but a three-degree section of the firmament, 1,956 light-years from earth. Once a star similar to our own sun, the nebula was formed when the star exploded, releasing gasses from its outer shell into space.

NGC 3627: Revealing Hidden Black Holes The spiral galaxy NGC 3627 is located about 30 million light years from Earth. This composite image includes X-ray data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory (blue), infrared data from the Spitzer Space Telescope (red), and optical data from the Hubble Space Telescope and the Very Large Telescope (yellow). The inset shows the central region, which contains a bright X-ray source that is likely powered by material falling onto a supermassive black hole.

Supernova N49: This is a composite image of N49, the brightest supernova remnant in optical light in the Large Magellanic Cloud. The Chandra X-ray image (blue) shows million-degree gas in the center. Much cooler gas at the outer parts of the remnant is seen in the infrared image from Spitzer (red). Taken on June 15, 2006.

NGC7129: star-forming region & reflection nebula in Cepheus; it is about 3000 ly away; stars in this nebula are very young, about 1 Ma old. The red blobs above & below the nebula are Herbig Haro objects, the result of jets of gas streaming away from young stars in the nebula

ALMA (the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array) observed this spiral of gas around the R star of the Constellation Sculptor, an old star.

A Mysterious Spiral around an Old Star as Depicted by ALMA | NAOJ

New Cassini Image: Saturn's moon Rhea with the planet's tiny moon Epimetheus Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute; Processed image: G. Ugarković

New Image from the European Southern Observ. shows two dramatic star formation regions (NGC 3603/ NGC 3576) in the southern Milky Way

Two Star Formation Regions in the Southern Milky Way

Ou4: A Giant Squid Nebula - A new investigation suggests Ou4 really lies within the emission region SH2-129 some 2,300 light-years away. The cosmic squid would represent a spectacular outflow of material driven by a triple system of hot, massive stars, cataloged as HR8119, seen near the center of the nebula. - Image Credit: Romano Corradi (IAC), et al

10 Jul 2014: NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has spotted a strange celestial "string of pearls" wrapped around the hearts of two merging elliptical galaxies... Rarely seen merger drips-new stars like beads on a string.. (more pics and video at link)

On January 21, 2014 a supernova soon after it exploded in M82, galaxy this supernova, dubbed SN 2014J, belongs to a class of explosions called “Type Ia” supernovas. These supernovas are used as cosmic distance-markers and played a key role in the discovery of the Universe’s accelerated expansion, which has been attributed to the effects of dark energy. Scientists think that all Type Ia supernovas involve the detonation of a white dwarf.

Supernova SN 2014J Explodes

This is a pair of interacting galaxies, the barred spiral Seyfert 1 galaxy NGC 7469 (Arp 298), a luminous infrared source w/ a powerful starburst deeply embedded into its circumnuclear region, & its smaller companion IC 5283. This system is located about 200 mly away in the constellation of Pegasus

NGC 7469 | ESA/Hubble

NGC 1672 Barred Spiral Galaxy in Dorado (the Swordfish), 60 mly away. It has many dark filamentary dust lanes that extend in many directions, from the galactic nuc-leus to the inner edges of the spiral arms. Image Credit: NASA/ESA (STScI/NASA) (ST-ECF/ESA) (CADC/NRC/CSA). Processing: Robert Gendler

Astronomy Picture of the Day: 4/9/13 – NGC 1672

Astronomy Picture of the Day for 01 Jul 2014. Some stars explode in slow motion. Rare, massive Wolf-Rayet stars are so tumultuous and hot that they slowly disintegrating right before our telescopes. Glowing gas globs each typically over 30 times more massive than the Earth are being expelled by violent stellar winds. Wolf-Rayet star WR 124, visible near the above image center spanning six light years across, is thus creating the surrounding nebula known as M1-67.

APOD: 2014 July 1 - Wolf Rayet Star 124: Stellar Wind Machine

♥ NGC 7129 Is A Rosebud-shaped Reflection Nebula located 3300 ly away in the constellation Cepheus. A young open cluster is responsible for illuminating the surrounding nebula. Wikipedia

Galaxy Hercules A in the constellation Hercules emits plasma jets nearly one million lightyears long Image credit: NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope

The 'Core of the Serpens Cloud' in Serpens, the Serpent. This IR image combines data from NASA's Spitzer w/shorter-wavelength observations from the Two Micron All Sky Survey, allowing a peek into the dust clouds wrapped around this stellar nursery. This cloud core, about 750 ly away, contains one of the youngest collections of stars ever seen in our galaxy

NGC 1499: The California Nebula

The Eridanus Void. This area shows almost no signs of cosmic matter, meaning no stars, planets, solar systems or clouds of cosmic dust. Researchers couldn't even find dark matter, which is invisible but measurable by its gravitational pull. There were also no signs of black holes that might have gobbled up the matter once present in the region.

YOUNGISTAN: Is there a "hole" in the universe?

Hubble Celebrates its 24th Year in Orbit with a New Image of the Monkey Head Nebula, part of NGC2174. NGC2174 is about 6400 ly away in the constellation of Orion.

Comet C/2012 K1 And NGC 3726 Taken by Gerald Rhemann on May 20, 2014 @ Eichgraben, Lower Austria

Comet C/2012 K1 And NGC 3726

Venus, our mysterious hot neighbor 67,237,910 miles (108,208,930 km) from the sun, possesses a gaseous atmosphere composed of deadly carbon dioxide with clouds of sulfuric acid. Its radius measures about 3,760.4 miles (6,051.8 km). Venus achieves a temperature of 870 degrees F (465 degrees C). Whew, that's hot! It's even hotter than that Mercury! Venus is the hottest planet in the solar system.

Our Solar System: A Photo Tour of the Planets

Located 500 million light-years away in the constellation Sculptor, the galaxy looks like a wagon wheel. The galaxy's nucleus is the bright object in the center of the image; the spoke-like structures are wisps of material connecting the nucleus to the outer ring of young stars. The galaxy's unusual configuration was created by a nearly head-on collision with a smaller galaxy about 200 million years ago.