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This artist's concept shows a Super Venus planet on the left, and a Super Earth on the right. Researchers use a concept known as the habitable zone to distinguish between these two types of planets, which exist beyond our solar system.
This artist's concept shows a Super Venus planet on the left, and a Super Earth on the right. Researchers use a concept known as the habitable zone to distinguish between these two types of planets, which exist beyond our solar system.

Toxic Wasteland or Lush Paradise? (Artist Concept)

Researchers are brewing up icy, organic concoctions in the lab to mimic materials at the edge of our solar system and beyond. The lab is shown at right, and a very young solar system, with its swirling planet-forming disk is at left.
Researchers are brewing up icy, organic concoctions in the lab to mimic materials at the edge of our solar system and beyond. The lab is shown at right, and a very young solar system, with its swirling planet-forming disk is at left.

Ice from the Solar System's Edge (Artist's Concept)

This artist's concept shows a supermassive black hole at the center of a remote galaxy digesting the remnants of a star.
This artist's concept shows a supermassive black hole at the center of a remote galaxy digesting the remnants of a star.

Black Hole Grabs Starry Snack (Artist Concept)

NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer highlights the Small Magellanic Cloud, a small galaxy about 200,000 light-years away. Located in the constellation Tucana, the Small Magellanic Cloud looks like a wispy cloud encircling the south celestial pole.
NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer highlights the Small Magellanic Cloud, a small galaxy about 200,000 light-years away. Located in the constellation Tucana, the Small Magellanic Cloud looks like a wispy cloud encircling the south celestial pole.

WISE's View of a Wispy Cloud

This large mosaic image from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, features the wreckage of an exploded star, as well as other stars nearing the end of their lives.
This large mosaic image from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, features the wreckage of an exploded star, as well as other stars nearing the end of their lives.

Beyond the Veil

One of Planck's first images is shown as a strip superimposed over a two dimensional projection of the whole sky as seen in visible light.
One of Planck's first images is shown as a strip superimposed over a two dimensional projection of the whole sky as seen in visible light.

Planck's First Glimpse at the Universe

NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer has uncovered the coldest brown dwarf known so far (green dot in very center of this infrared image). WISE 1828+2650 is located in the constellation Lyra. The blue dots are a mix of stars and galaxies.
NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer has uncovered the coldest brown dwarf known so far (green dot in very center of this infrared image). WISE 1828+2650 is located in the constellation Lyra. The blue dots are a mix of stars and galaxies.

Reigning Title-Holder for Coldest Brown Dwarf

The Sculptor galaxy, or NGC 253, is seen in a rainbow of infrared colors in this mosaic by NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer. The Sculptor galaxy can be seen by observers in the southern hemisphere with a pair of good binoculars.
The Sculptor galaxy, or NGC 253, is seen in a rainbow of infrared colors in this mosaic by NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer. The Sculptor galaxy can be seen by observers in the southern hemisphere with a pair of good binoculars.

The Many Infrared 'Personalities' of the Sculptor Galaxy

This artist's concept based on data found by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows upsilon Andromedae b, a hot gas giant that whips around its star every 4.6 days. Because it is so close to its star, it is tidally locked.
This artist's concept based on data found by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows upsilon Andromedae b, a hot gas giant that whips around its star every 4.6 days. Because it is so close to its star, it is tidally locked.

Planetary Hot Spot Not Under the Glare of Star (Artist Concept)

A star's spectacular death in the constellation Taurus was observed on Earth as the supernova of 1054 A.D. This composite image uses data from three of NASA's Great Observatories. The Chandra X-ray, Hubble Space, and Spitzer Space Telescope.
A star's spectacular death in the constellation Taurus was observed on Earth as the supernova of 1054 A.D. This composite image uses data from three of NASA's Great Observatories. The Chandra X-ray, Hubble Space, and Spitzer Space Telescope.

Dead Star Creates Celestial Havoc

This composite image comes from the ESA's Planck shows a festive portrait of our Milky Way galaxy shows a mishmash of gas, charged particles and several types of dust.
This composite image comes from the ESA's Planck shows a festive portrait of our Milky Way galaxy shows a mishmash of gas, charged particles and several types of dust.

A Milky Way 'Mixer' Amongst the Stars

Black holes are tremendous objects whose immense gravity can distort and twist space-time, the fabric that shapes our universe as this chart from NASA's NuSTAR and ESA's XMM-Newton telescope illustrates.
Black holes are tremendous objects whose immense gravity can distort and twist space-time, the fabric that shapes our universe as this chart from NASA's NuSTAR and ESA's XMM-Newton telescope illustrates.

How to Measure the Spin of a Black Hole (Artist's Concept)

This still from an artist's animation flies through the Kepler-20 star system, where NASA's Kepler mission discovered the first Earth-size planets around a star beyond our own. The system is jam-packed with five planets.
This still from an artist's animation flies through the Kepler-20 star system, where NASA's Kepler mission discovered the first Earth-size planets around a star beyond our own. The system is jam-packed with five planets.

An Unusual Planetary System (Artist's Concept)

This artist's concept shows a hypothetical 'rejuvenated' planet,a gas giant that has reclaimed its youthful infrared glow. NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope found tentative evidence for one such planet around a dead star, or white dwarf, called PG 0010+280.
This artist's concept shows a hypothetical 'rejuvenated' planet,a gas giant that has reclaimed its youthful infrared glow. NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope found tentative evidence for one such planet around a dead star, or white dwarf, called PG 0010+280.

Hypothetical 'Rejuvenated' Planets (Artist's Concept)

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope and the National Optical Astronomy Observatory compare infrared and visible views of the famous Orion nebula and its surrounding cloud, an industrious star-making region located near the hunter constellation's sword.
NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope and the National Optical Astronomy Observatory compare infrared and visible views of the famous Orion nebula and its surrounding cloud, an industrious star-making region located near the hunter constellation's sword.

The Infrared Hunter

This false-color image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows a distant galaxy (yellow) that houses a quasar, a super-massive black hole circled by a ring, or torus, of gas and dust.
This false-color image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows a distant galaxy (yellow) that houses a quasar, a super-massive black hole circled by a ring, or torus, of gas and dust.

Gorilla Black Hole in the Mist

Here we see two different views of the spiral galaxy, Messier 81. On the left is an image taken in blue light, while on the right is a specially-processed version of an image taken with NASA's Spitzer's infrared array camera at 4.5 microns.
Here we see two different views of the spiral galaxy, Messier 81. On the left is an image taken in blue light, while on the right is a specially-processed version of an image taken with NASA's Spitzer's infrared array camera at 4.5 microns.

"Missing Link" Found

Results from NASA's NEOWISE survey find that more potentially hazardous asteroids, or PHAs, are closely aligned with the plane of our solar system than previous models suggested.
Results from NASA's NEOWISE survey find that more potentially hazardous asteroids, or PHAs, are closely aligned with the plane of our solar system than previous models suggested.

The Hustle and Bustle of our Solar System

These images, taken with NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer and the Pan-STARRS1 telescope in Hawaii, show a brightening inside a galaxy caused by a flare from its nucleus. The arrow in each image points to the galaxy.
These images, taken with NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer and the Pan-STARRS1 telescope in Hawaii, show a brightening inside a galaxy caused by a flare from its nucleus. The arrow in each image points to the galaxy.

Black Hole Swallows a Star

This plot of data from two space telescopes, NASA's NuSTAR and ESA's XMM-Newton determines for the first time the shape of ultra-fast winds from supermassive black holes, or quasars.
This plot of data from two space telescopes, NASA's NuSTAR and ESA's XMM-Newton determines for the first time the shape of ultra-fast winds from supermassive black holes, or quasars.

The Answer is Blowing in the Black Hole Wind

This artist concept illustrates how a massive collision of objects perhaps as large as the planet Pluto smashed together to create the dust ring around the nearby star Vega.
This artist concept illustrates how a massive collision of objects perhaps as large as the planet Pluto smashed together to create the dust ring around the nearby star Vega.

Massive Smash-up at Vega (Artist Concept)

This artist's conception compares the KOI-961 planetary system to Jupiter and the largest four of its many moons. The KOI-961 planetary system hosts the three smallest planets known to orbit a star beyond our sun.
This artist's conception compares the KOI-961 planetary system to Jupiter and the largest four of its many moons. The KOI-961 planetary system hosts the three smallest planets known to orbit a star beyond our sun.

'Honey I Shrunk the Planetary System' (Artist Concept)

Tones represents sound waves that traveled through the early universe, and were later 'heard' by ESA's Planck space telescope. The primordial sound waves have been translated into frequencies we can hear.
Tones represents sound waves that traveled through the early universe, and were later 'heard' by ESA's Planck space telescope. The primordial sound waves have been translated into frequencies we can hear.

Sounds of the Ancient Universe

ESA's Planck has imaged the most distant light we can observe, called the cosmic microwave background, with unprecedented precision.
ESA's Planck has imaged the most distant light we can observe, called the cosmic microwave background, with unprecedented precision.

Through the Universe's Looking Glass

NuSTAR has added a new twist to the mystery of ultraluminous X-ray sources (ULXs) by showing that one of the ULXs in M82, called M82 X-2, is not a black hole but a pulsar.
NuSTAR has added a new twist to the mystery of ultraluminous X-ray sources (ULXs) by showing that one of the ULXs in M82, called M82 X-2, is not a black hole but a pulsar.

Ultraluminous X-ray Sources in M82 Galaxy

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