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A massive star (left), which has created elements as heavy as iron in its interior, blows up in a tremendous explosion (middle), scattering its outer layers in a structure called a supernova remnant (right).
A massive star (left), which has created elements as heavy as iron in its interior, blows up in a tremendous explosion (middle), scattering its outer layers in a structure called a supernova remnant (right).

Evolution of a Supernova

Astronomers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope have spotted a 'dust factory' 30 million light-years away in the spiral galaxy M74. The factory is located at the scene of a massive star's explosive death, or supernova.
Astronomers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope have spotted a 'dust factory' 30 million light-years away in the spiral galaxy M74. The factory is located at the scene of a massive star's explosive death, or supernova.

Supernova Dust Factory in M74

Sending chills down the spine of all arachnophobes is the Tarantula nebula, seen in this image from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer; the nebula is the largest star-forming region known in our entire Local Group of galaxies.
Sending chills down the spine of all arachnophobes is the Tarantula nebula, seen in this image from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer; the nebula is the largest star-forming region known in our entire Local Group of galaxies.

WISE Spies the Tarantula Nebula

New detailed radio data from the NRAO's Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) revealed that the large perpendicular extension of UGC 10288's halo (blue) is really a distant background galaxy with radio jets.
New detailed radio data from the NRAO's Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) revealed that the large perpendicular extension of UGC 10288's halo (blue) is really a distant background galaxy with radio jets.

Two Galaxies Masquerading as One

NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer captured this colorful image of the reflection nebula IRAS 12116-6001. This cloud of interstellar dust cannot be seen directly in visible light, but WISE's detectors observed the nebula at infrared wavelengths.
NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer captured this colorful image of the reflection nebula IRAS 12116-6001. This cloud of interstellar dust cannot be seen directly in visible light, but WISE's detectors observed the nebula at infrared wavelengths.

Dark Reflections in the Southern Cross

NASA's Kepler mission has discovered a new planetary system that is home to the smallest planet yet found around a star like our sun, approximately 210 light-years away in the constellation Lyra.
NASA's Kepler mission has discovered a new planetary system that is home to the smallest planet yet found around a star like our sun, approximately 210 light-years away in the constellation Lyra.

A Tiny Planet (Artist's Concept)

This new false-colored image from NASA's Hubble, Chandra and Spitzer space telescopes shows a giant jet of particles that has been shot out from the vicinity of a type of supermassive black hole called a quasar.
This new false-colored image from NASA's Hubble, Chandra and Spitzer space telescopes shows a giant jet of particles that has been shot out from the vicinity of a type of supermassive black hole called a quasar.

Black Hole Spills Kaleidoscope of Color

This parallelogram shaped region of dust observed by ESA's Herschel Space telescope can be best described using galaxy formation models where a flat spiral galaxy collides with an elliptical galaxy becoming warped in the process.
This parallelogram shaped region of dust observed by ESA's Herschel Space telescope can be best described using galaxy formation models where a flat spiral galaxy collides with an elliptical galaxy becoming warped in the process.

The Action-Packed Centaurus A

With its all-sky infrared survey, NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, has identified millions of quasar candidates. Quasars are supermassive black holes with masses millions to billions times greater than our sun.
With its all-sky infrared survey, NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, has identified millions of quasar candidates. Quasars are supermassive black holes with masses millions to billions times greater than our sun.

A Sky Chock-Full of Black Holes

Researchers have detected the first 'exomoon' candidate -- a moon orbiting a planet that lies outside our solar system. Using a technique called 'microlensing,' they observed what could be either a moon and a planet -- or a planet and a star.
Researchers have detected the first 'exomoon' candidate -- a moon orbiting a planet that lies outside our solar system. Using a technique called 'microlensing,' they observed what could be either a moon and a planet -- or a planet and a star.

Moon or Planet? The 'Exomoon Hunt' Continues (Artist's Concept)

This image zooms into a small portion of NASA's Kepler's full field of view, an expansive, 100-square-degree patch of sky in our Milky Way galaxy. An eight-billion-year-old cluster of stars 13,000 light-years from Earth, called NGC 6791, is seen here.
This image zooms into a small portion of NASA's Kepler's full field of view, an expansive, 100-square-degree patch of sky in our Milky Way galaxy. An eight-billion-year-old cluster of stars 13,000 light-years from Earth, called NGC 6791, is seen here.

Cluster of Stars in Kepler's Sight

This image of the Beehive star cluster points out the location of its first known planets, Pr0201b and Pr0211b, or, as astronomers call them, the first 'b's' in the Beehive.
This image of the Beehive star cluster points out the location of its first known planets, Pr0201b and Pr0211b, or, as astronomers call them, the first 'b's' in the Beehive.

Bees in the Beehive

This artist's conception shows a nearly invisible ring around Saturn -- the largest of the giant planet's many rings. It was discovered by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.
This artist's conception shows a nearly invisible ring around Saturn -- the largest of the giant planet's many rings. It was discovered by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

The King of Rings

This heroic image from from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer is of a special cloud of dust and gas in the constellation Canis Major catalogued as NGC 2359, or more commonly known as Thor's Helmet.
This heroic image from from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer is of a special cloud of dust and gas in the constellation Canis Major catalogued as NGC 2359, or more commonly known as Thor's Helmet.

Thor's Helmet

NASA's NuSTAR is complementing previous observations of the Cassiopeia A supernova remnant (red and green) by providing the first maps of radioactive material forged in the fiery explosion (blue).
NASA's NuSTAR is complementing previous observations of the Cassiopeia A supernova remnant (red and green) by providing the first maps of radioactive material forged in the fiery explosion (blue).

Adding a New 'Color' to Palate of Cassiopeia A Images

Two young binary stars may be the source of mysterious clock-like bursts of light from an object called LRLL 54361 that lies inside the star-forming region IC 348, located 950 light-years away.
Two young binary stars may be the source of mysterious clock-like bursts of light from an object called LRLL 54361 that lies inside the star-forming region IC 348, located 950 light-years away.

Artist's Impression of Pulsating Object LRLL 54361

This all-sky image shows the distribution of the galactic haze seen by ESA's Planck mission at microwave frequencies superimposed over the high-energy sky, as seen by NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope.
This all-sky image shows the distribution of the galactic haze seen by ESA's Planck mission at microwave frequencies superimposed over the high-energy sky, as seen by NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope.

Galactic Haze seen by Planck and Galactic 'Bubbles' seen by Fermi

NASA's three Great Observatories -- the Hubble Space Telescope, the SpitzerSpace Telescope, and the Chandra X-ray Observatory -- joined forces to probe theexpanding remains of a supernova, called Kepler's supernova remnant.
NASA's three Great Observatories -- the Hubble Space Telescope, the SpitzerSpace Telescope, and the Chandra X-ray Observatory -- joined forces to probe theexpanding remains of a supernova, called Kepler's supernova remnant.

Three Great Eyes on Kepler's Supernova Remnant

This artist's concept shows Kepler-11 -- the most tightly packed planetary system yet discovered.
This artist's concept shows Kepler-11 -- the most tightly packed planetary system yet discovered.

Kepler-11 Planetary System (Artist Concept)

The locations of brown dwarfs discovered by NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, and mapped by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, are shown in this diagram as red circles.
The locations of brown dwarfs discovered by NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, and mapped by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, are shown in this diagram as red circles.

Brown Dwarf Backyardigans

NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer found a tail behind a galaxy called IC 3418. This star-studded tail was created as the galaxy plunged into gas in a family of galaxies known as the Virgo cluster.
NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer found a tail behind a galaxy called IC 3418. This star-studded tail was created as the galaxy plunged into gas in a family of galaxies known as the Virgo cluster.

Now You See a Tail, Now You Don't

Infrared images from instruments at Kitt Peak National Observatory (left) and NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope document the outburst of HOPS 383, a young protostar in the Orion star-formation complex.
Infrared images from instruments at Kitt Peak National Observatory (left) and NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope document the outburst of HOPS 383, a young protostar in the Orion star-formation complex.

Embryonic Star's Outburst

This chart compares the first Earth-size planets found around a sun-like star to planets in our own solar system, Earth and Venus. NASA's Kepler mission discovered the newfound planets, called Kepler-20e and Kepler-20f.
This chart compares the first Earth-size planets found around a sun-like star to planets in our own solar system, Earth and Venus. NASA's Kepler mission discovered the newfound planets, called Kepler-20e and Kepler-20f.

Earth-class Planets Line Up

This illustration shows three possible scenarios for the evolution of asteroid belts. At the top, a Jupiter-size planet migrates through the asteroid belt, scattering material and inhibiting the formation of life on planets.
This illustration shows three possible scenarios for the evolution of asteroid belts. At the top, a Jupiter-size planet migrates through the asteroid belt, scattering material and inhibiting the formation of life on planets.

Scenarios for the Evolution of Asteroid Belts

A plot of the transmission spectrum for exoplanet HAT-P-11b, with data from NASA's Kepler, Hubble and Spitzer observatories combined. The results show a robust detection of water absorption in the Hubble data.
A plot of the transmission spectrum for exoplanet HAT-P-11b, with data from NASA's Kepler, Hubble and Spitzer observatories combined. The results show a robust detection of water absorption in the Hubble data.

Transmission Spectrum of HAT-P-11b

Currently displaying images 626-650 of 923
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