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This photograph from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows the young star cluster NGC 2362. By studying it, astronomers found that gas giant planet formation happens very rapidly and efficiently, within less than 5 million years.
This photograph from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows the young star cluster NGC 2362. By studying it, astronomers found that gas giant planet formation happens very rapidly and efficiently, within less than 5 million years.

Baby Jupiters Must Gain Weight Fast

This artist's concept demonstrates how a dusty planet-forming disk can slow down a whirling young star, essentially saving the star from spinning itself to death. Evidence for this phenomenon comes from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.
This artist's concept demonstrates how a dusty planet-forming disk can slow down a whirling young star, essentially saving the star from spinning itself to death. Evidence for this phenomenon comes from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

Stars Can't Spin Out of Control (Artist's Animation)

This image taken by NASA'S Galaxy Evolution Explorer shows one of the largest flares, or star eruptions, ever recorded at ultraviolet wavelengths. This star is called GJ 3685A.
This image taken by NASA'S Galaxy Evolution Explorer shows one of the largest flares, or star eruptions, ever recorded at ultraviolet wavelengths. This star is called GJ 3685A.

Dwarf Star Erupts in Giant Flare

This ultraviolet image from NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer is of the interacting group of galaxies known as Stephan's Quintet (NGC 7317, NGC 7318A, NGC 7318B, NGC 7319, NGC 7320, lower left).
This ultraviolet image from NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer is of the interacting group of galaxies known as Stephan's Quintet (NGC 7317, NGC 7318A, NGC 7318B, NGC 7319, NGC 7320, lower left).

Interacting Group of Galaxies Known as Stephan's Quintet

When astronomers first looked at images of a supernova remnant called Cassiopeia A, captured by NASA's NuSTAR. The mystery of Cassiopeia A (Cas A), a massive star that exploded in a supernova more than 11,000 years ago continues to confound scientists.
When astronomers first looked at images of a supernova remnant called Cassiopeia A, captured by NASA's NuSTAR. The mystery of Cassiopeia A (Cas A), a massive star that exploded in a supernova more than 11,000 years ago continues to confound scientists.

The Case of Missing Iron in Cassiopeia A

This artist's rendition shows one possible appearance for the planet HD 219134b, the nearest confirmed rocky exoplanet found to date outside our solar system.
This artist's rendition shows one possible appearance for the planet HD 219134b, the nearest confirmed rocky exoplanet found to date outside our solar system.

Hot, Rocky World (Artist's Concept)

The green dot in the middle of this image might look like an emerald amidst glittering diamonds, but is a dim star belonging to a class called brown dwarfs; it is the first ultra-cool brown dwarf discovered by NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer.
The green dot in the middle of this image might look like an emerald amidst glittering diamonds, but is a dim star belonging to a class called brown dwarfs; it is the first ultra-cool brown dwarf discovered by NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer.

Collecting Brown Dwarfs in the Night Sky

This picture highlights a slice of Saturn's largest ring. The ring (red band) was discovered by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, which detected infrared light, or heat, from the dusty ring material.
This picture highlights a slice of Saturn's largest ring. The ring (red band) was discovered by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, which detected infrared light, or heat, from the dusty ring material.

Infrared Ring around Saturn

The third closest star system to the sun, called WISE J104915.57-531906, center of large image, which was taken by NASA's WISE. It appeared to be a single object, but a sharper image from Gemini Observatory, revealed that it was binary star system.
The third closest star system to the sun, called WISE J104915.57-531906, center of large image, which was taken by NASA's WISE. It appeared to be a single object, but a sharper image from Gemini Observatory, revealed that it was binary star system.

Brown Dwarfs in our 'Backyard'

The magnetic field of our Milky Way galaxy as seen by ESA's Planck satellite. This image was compiled from the first all-sky observations of polarized light emitted by interstellar dust in the Milky Way.
The magnetic field of our Milky Way galaxy as seen by ESA's Planck satellite. This image was compiled from the first all-sky observations of polarized light emitted by interstellar dust in the Milky Way.

Magnetic Map of Milky Way

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope was able to show that a 'standard candle' used to measure cosmological distances is shrinking, a finding that affects precise measurements of the age, size and expansion rate of our universe.
NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope was able to show that a 'standard candle' used to measure cosmological distances is shrinking, a finding that affects precise measurements of the age, size and expansion rate of our universe.

Standard Candle in the Wind

This map of the entire sky was captured by the European Space Agency's Planck mission - The band running through the middle corresponds to dust in our Milky Way galaxy.
This map of the entire sky was captured by the European Space Agency's Planck mission - The band running through the middle corresponds to dust in our Milky Way galaxy.

Astronomers Dig Up Treasure Trove of Galaxy Clusters

Astronomers have uncovered patterns of light that appear to be from the first stars and galaxies that formed in the universe. The light patterns were hidden within a strip of sky observed by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.
Astronomers have uncovered patterns of light that appear to be from the first stars and galaxies that formed in the universe. The light patterns were hidden within a strip of sky observed by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

Hidden Patterns of Light Revealed by Spitzer

This map illustrates the numerous star-forming clouds, called cold cores, that European Space Agency's Planck observed throughout our Milky Way galaxy. Planck detected around 10,000 of these cores, thousands of which had never been seen before.
This map illustrates the numerous star-forming clouds, called cold cores, that European Space Agency's Planck observed throughout our Milky Way galaxy. Planck detected around 10,000 of these cores, thousands of which had never been seen before.

Clumps of Cold Stuff Across the Sky

This diagram illustrates two similar star systems, HD 95086 and HR 8799. Evidence from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has pointed to the presence of two dust belts in each system.
This diagram illustrates two similar star systems, HD 95086 and HR 8799. Evidence from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has pointed to the presence of two dust belts in each system.

Sibling Star Systems? Dust Structures Suggest So

This image from NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer shows the galaxy NGC 1291, located about 33 million light-years away in the constellation Eridanus. NGC 1291 is notable for its unusual inner bar and outer ring structure.
This image from NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer shows the galaxy NGC 1291, located about 33 million light-years away in the constellation Eridanus. NGC 1291 is notable for its unusual inner bar and outer ring structure.

NGC 1291

Located 10 million light-years away in the southern constellation Sculptor, the Silver Dollar galaxy, or NGC 253, is one of the brightest spiral galaxies in the night sky as seen in this edge-on view from NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer.
Located 10 million light-years away in the southern constellation Sculptor, the Silver Dollar galaxy, or NGC 253, is one of the brightest spiral galaxies in the night sky as seen in this edge-on view from NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer.

Triple Scoop from Galaxy Hunter

This composite image of asteroid 2007 PA8 was obtained using data taken by NASA's 230-foot-wide (70-meter) Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, Calif.
This composite image of asteroid 2007 PA8 was obtained using data taken by NASA's 230-foot-wide (70-meter) Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, Calif.

NASA Radar Images Asteroid 2007 PA8

This image composite shows a warped and magnified view of a galaxy discovered by the Herschel Space Observatory, one of five such galaxies uncovered by the infrared telescope. The galaxy, referred to as 'SDP 81' is the yellow dot in the left image.
This image composite shows a warped and magnified view of a galaxy discovered by the Herschel Space Observatory, one of five such galaxies uncovered by the infrared telescope. The galaxy, referred to as 'SDP 81' is the yellow dot in the left image.

Analyzing the Pieces of a Warped Galaxy

NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer's large field of view and multi-wavelength infrared sight allowed it to form this complete view of the cluster, containing dozens of bright galaxies and hundreds of smaller ones.
NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer's large field of view and multi-wavelength infrared sight allowed it to form this complete view of the cluster, containing dozens of bright galaxies and hundreds of smaller ones.

Fornax Galaxy Cluster

ESA's Herschel Space Observatory captured asteroid Apophis in its field of view during the approach to Earth on Jan. 5 and 6, 2013.
ESA's Herschel Space Observatory captured asteroid Apophis in its field of view during the approach to Earth on Jan. 5 and 6, 2013.

Herschel's Three-Color View of Asteroid Apophis

This image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows a computer simulation of the planet HD 80606b from an observer located at a point in space lying between the Earth and the HD 80606 system.
This image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows a computer simulation of the planet HD 80606b from an observer located at a point in space lying between the Earth and the HD 80606 system.

Tour of Planet with Extreme Temperature Swings

This diagram illustrates the earliest journeys of water in a young, forming star system. NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope was able to probe a crucial phase of this stellar evolution.
This diagram illustrates the earliest journeys of water in a young, forming star system. NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope was able to probe a crucial phase of this stellar evolution.

Steamy Solar System

Something appears to be peering through a shiny red mask, in this new false-colored image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. The mysterious blue eyes are actually starlight from the cores of two merging galaxies, called NGC 2207 and IC 2163.
Something appears to be peering through a shiny red mask, in this new false-colored image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. The mysterious blue eyes are actually starlight from the cores of two merging galaxies, called NGC 2207 and IC 2163.

Ready for the Cosmic Ball

The big blob-like structure shown here, named Himiko after the legendary ancient queen of Japan, turns out to be three galaxies thought to be in the process of merging into one.
The big blob-like structure shown here, named Himiko after the legendary ancient queen of Japan, turns out to be three galaxies thought to be in the process of merging into one.

Three-headed Galactic Blob

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