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Peering deep inside a cluster of several hundred thousand stars, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has uncovered the oldest burned-out stars in our Milky Way Galaxy, giving astronomers a fresh reading on the age of the universe.
Peering deep inside a cluster of several hundred thousand stars, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has uncovered the oldest burned-out stars in our Milky Way Galaxy, giving astronomers a fresh reading on the age of the universe.

White Dwarf Stars

This artist's concept takes us on a journey to 55 Cancri, a star with a family of five known planets - the most planets discovered so far around a star besides our own.
This artist's concept takes us on a journey to 55 Cancri, a star with a family of five known planets - the most planets discovered so far around a star besides our own.

Journey to a Star Rich with Planets (Artist Concept)

This is an ultraviolet color image of the galaxy NGC5398 taken by NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer on June 7, 2003. NGC5398 is a barred spiral galaxy located 60 million light-years from Earth.
This is an ultraviolet color image of the galaxy NGC5398 taken by NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer on June 7, 2003. NGC5398 is a barred spiral galaxy located 60 million light-years from Earth.

Galaxy NGC5398

This artist's concept based on data fromNASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows delicate greenish crystals sprinkled throughout the violent core of a pair of colliding galaxies. The white spots represent a thriving population of stars of all sizes and ages.
This artist's concept based on data fromNASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows delicate greenish crystals sprinkled throughout the violent core of a pair of colliding galaxies. The white spots represent a thriving population of stars of all sizes and ages.

Galactic Hearts of Glass (Artist Concept)

This engineering image derives from 100 seconds of observing time on one of the three science instruments aboard the Space InfraRed Telescope Facility (SIRTF) (now known as the Spitzer Space Telescope).
This engineering image derives from 100 seconds of observing time on one of the three science instruments aboard the Space InfraRed Telescope Facility (SIRTF) (now known as the Spitzer Space Telescope).

SIRTF "Aliveness Test" Image

This image was taken May 21 and 22, 2003 by NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer. The image was made from data gathered by the far ultraviolet channel of the spacecraft camera during the mission's 'first light' milestone. It shows about 400 celestial objects
This image was taken May 21 and 22, 2003 by NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer. The image was made from data gathered by the far ultraviolet channel of the spacecraft camera during the mission's 'first light' milestone. It shows about 400 celestial objects

GALEX 1st Light Far Ultraviolet

This image was taken May 21 and 22, 2003, by NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer. The image was made from data gathered by the two channels of the spacecraft camera during the mission's 'first light' milestone.
This image was taken May 21 and 22, 2003, by NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer. The image was made from data gathered by the two channels of the spacecraft camera during the mission's 'first light' milestone.

GALEX 1st Light Near Ultraviolet -50

Atlas Image mosaic, covering 34' x 34' on the sky, of the Coma cluster, aka Abell 1656. This is a particularly rich cluster of individual galaxies (over 1000 members), most prominently the two giant ellipticals, NGC 4874 (right) and NGC 4889 (left).
Atlas Image mosaic, covering 34' x 34' on the sky, of the Coma cluster, aka Abell 1656. This is a particularly rich cluster of individual galaxies (over 1000 members), most prominently the two giant ellipticals, NGC 4874 (right) and NGC 4889 (left).

Coma cluster of galaxies

During its one-year mission, NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, mapped the entire sky in infrared light. Among the multitudes of astronomical bodies that have been discovered by the NEOWISE portion of the WISE mission are 20 comets.
During its one-year mission, NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, mapped the entire sky in infrared light. Among the multitudes of astronomical bodies that have been discovered by the NEOWISE portion of the WISE mission are 20 comets.

Comets WISE -- A Family Portrait

This artist's concept depicts a supermassive black hole at the center of a galaxy. NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer found evidence that black holes (once they grow to a critical size) stifle the formation of new stars in elliptical galaxies.
This artist's concept depicts a supermassive black hole at the center of a galaxy. NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer found evidence that black holes (once they grow to a critical size) stifle the formation of new stars in elliptical galaxies.

An Unwelcome Place for New Stars (artist concept)

ESA's Planck mission has imaged the oldest light in our universe. The top map shows Planck's all-sky map of the cosmic microwave background, whereas the bottom map shows the largest-scale features of the map.
ESA's Planck mission has imaged the oldest light in our universe. The top map shows Planck's all-sky map of the cosmic microwave background, whereas the bottom map shows the largest-scale features of the map.

Peculiar Features in Patterns of Ancient Light

Evidence from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer and Galaxy Evolution Explorer missions provide support for the 'inside-out' theory of galaxy evolution, which holds that star formation starts at the core of the galaxy and spreads outward.
Evidence from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer and Galaxy Evolution Explorer missions provide support for the 'inside-out' theory of galaxy evolution, which holds that star formation starts at the core of the galaxy and spreads outward.

Galaxies Grow from Inside Out

This is a composite image of N49, the brightest supernova remnant in optical light in the Large Magellanic Cloud; the image combines data from the Chandra X-ray Telescope (blue) and NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope (red).
This is a composite image of N49, the brightest supernova remnant in optical light in the Large Magellanic Cloud; the image combines data from the Chandra X-ray Telescope (blue) and NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope (red).

Stellar Debris in the Large Magellanic Cloud

New ultraviolet images from NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer shows a speeding star that is leaving an enormous trail of 'seeds' for new solar systems. The star, named Mira (pronounced my-rah) after the latin word for 'wonderful.'
New ultraviolet images from NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer shows a speeding star that is leaving an enormous trail of 'seeds' for new solar systems. The star, named Mira (pronounced my-rah) after the latin word for 'wonderful.'

Mira Soars Through the Sky

NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer spacecraft and Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory combined data making this diagram illustratrating the extent to which astronomers have been underestimating the proportion of small to big stars in certain galaxies.
NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer spacecraft and Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory combined data making this diagram illustratrating the extent to which astronomers have been underestimating the proportion of small to big stars in certain galaxies.

Adding up Stars in a Galaxy

This artist concept shows the planetary system called HD 189733, located 63 light-years away in the constellation Velpecula.
This artist concept shows the planetary system called HD 189733, located 63 light-years away in the constellation Velpecula.

Probing Exoplanets From the Ground (Artist Concept)

Using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, astronomers have, for the first time, found signatures of silicate crystals around a newly forming protostar in the constellation of Orion.
Using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, astronomers have, for the first time, found signatures of silicate crystals around a newly forming protostar in the constellation of Orion.

Cosmic Fountain of Crystal Rain

Researchers using NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) have captured infrared images of the last exhalations of a dying sun-like star. This image is of the planetary Nebula M2-9.
Researchers using NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) have captured infrared images of the last exhalations of a dying sun-like star. This image is of the planetary Nebula M2-9.

NASA's SOFIA Captures Images of the Planetary Nebula M2-9

A team of astronomers has made the first detection ever of an organic molecule in the atmosphere of a Jupiter-sized planet orbiting another star. The breakthrough was made with NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.
A team of astronomers has made the first detection ever of an organic molecule in the atmosphere of a Jupiter-sized planet orbiting another star. The breakthrough was made with NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.

Astronomers Detect First Organic Molecule on an Exoplanet (Artist's Concept)

This frame from an artist's animation depicts the 'life' of a photon, or particle of light, as it travels across space and time, from the very early universe ESA's Planck satellite.
This frame from an artist's animation depicts the 'life' of a photon, or particle of light, as it travels across space and time, from the very early universe ESA's Planck satellite.

A Journey of Light Through Space and Time

Astronomers were surprised to see these data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope in January 2013, showing a huge eruption of dust around a star called NGC 2547-ID8.
Astronomers were surprised to see these data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope in January 2013, showing a huge eruption of dust around a star called NGC 2547-ID8.

Witnessing a Planetary Wreckage

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has captured this stunning infrared view of the famous galaxy Messier 31, also known as Andromeda.
NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has captured this stunning infrared view of the famous galaxy Messier 31, also known as Andromeda.

Amazing Andromeda in Red

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope sees RCW 79 in the southern Milky Way, 17,200 light-years from Earth in the constellation Centaurus.
NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope sees RCW 79 in the southern Milky Way, 17,200 light-years from Earth in the constellation Centaurus.

A Bubble Bursts

This image shows the HR 8799 planets with starlight optically suppressed and data processing conducted to remove residual starlight. Project 1640, NASA's JPL used the Palomar Observatory near San Diego to obtain detailed spectra of the four planets.
This image shows the HR 8799 planets with starlight optically suppressed and data processing conducted to remove residual starlight. Project 1640, NASA's JPL used the Palomar Observatory near San Diego to obtain detailed spectra of the four planets.

Planetary Family Portrait

This artist's concept depicts a type of dead star called a pulsar and the surrounding disk of rubble discovered by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. The pulsar, called 4U 0142+61, was once a massive star until about 100,000 years ago.
This artist's concept depicts a type of dead star called a pulsar and the surrounding disk of rubble discovered by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. The pulsar, called 4U 0142+61, was once a massive star until about 100,000 years ago.

Stellar Rubble May be Planetary Building Blocks (Artist Concept)

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