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Space Photos of the Week: New Horizons Breaks a Record for Long-Distance Photography

This summary glow isn’t simply a common outdated area picture—it was taken a record-breaking three.79 billion miles away from Earth. NASA’s Pluto-grazing New Horizons spacecraft snapped this picture of the Wishing Well open galactic star cluster on its means towards its second vacation spot, the Kuiper belt object 2014 MU69. For comparability, the runner-up for distance pictures is the well-known Pale Blue Dot, taken by the Voyager spacecraft whereas it was three.75 billion miles away.

This beautiful picture of Jupiter was captured by NASA’s Juno spacecraft on its tenth orbit on December 16. The planet’s odd zigzagged storms are on full show, together with a white cyclone. Jupiter seems to be large on this picture, but it surely’s nonetheless onerous to get a sense of scale—the white cyclone on the left is the dimension of a whole continent on Earth.

This Hubble picture seems to be like an artfully crafted watercolor portray, but it surely’s a actual of galaxy NGC 7331, which is situated 45 million gentle years away. NGC 7331 shares a lot in frequent with our personal Milky Way Galaxy—it’s roughly the similar dimension and hosts a related quantity of stars, upwards of 100,000 million.

Hubble is at it once more! This wispy galaxy is formally NGC 7252, however its nickname is Atoms for Peace, after a speech given by President Eisenhower in 1953 with the purpose of a peaceable decision to nuclear energy. But 1 billion years in the past this space was the reverse of peaceable, when two galaxies violently merged collectively.

Martian avalanche! No one spilled paint on Mars; that is a naturally occuring function attributable to mud flowing downhill. The distinction in colour is because of there being much less mud in the darker areas than in the surrounding lighter areas. So whereas the grime itself isn’t that a lot darker, the quantity of materials modifications its perceived colour.

This week NASA’s Curiosity rover despatched again this picture of a rock. But it’s not simply any Martian rock; geologists on Earth recognized odd star-shaped and swallowtail-shaped crystals on the outdoors of the rock. On Earth these varieties of shapes are present in gypsum, a mineral shaped in water. These sesame seed-sized options are attribute of gypsum-crystals that may type when salt water evaporates—but it surely’s thought Gale Crater was dwelling to a non-salt water lake, leaving this rocky thriller an open investigation.

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