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A hypothetical planet is depicted in this artist's concept moving through the habitable zone and then further out into a long, cold winter.
A hypothetical planet is depicted in this artist's concept moving through the habitable zone and then further out into a long, cold winter.

Eccentric Habitable Zones (Artist's Concept)

This image zooms in on the region around the first 'hot DOG' (red object in magenta circle), discovered by NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE. Hot DOGs are hot dust-obscured galaxies.
This image zooms in on the region around the first 'hot DOG' (red object in magenta circle), discovered by NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE. Hot DOGs are hot dust-obscured galaxies.

Extremely Bright and Extremely Rare

When a planet such as K2-33b passes in front of its host star, it blocks some of the star's light.shown in this frame from an animation as discovered by NASA's Kepler Space Telescope.
When a planet such as K2-33b passes in front of its host star, it blocks some of the star's light.shown in this frame from an animation as discovered by NASA's Kepler Space Telescope.

Young Star and Its Infant Planet (Artist's animation)

This artist's concept depicts one possible appearance of the planet Kepler-452b, the first near-Earth-size world to be found in the habitable zone of star that is similar to our sun.
This artist's concept depicts one possible appearance of the planet Kepler-452b, the first near-Earth-size world to be found in the habitable zone of star that is similar to our sun.

Soaking up the Rays of a Sun-like Star (Artist's Concept)

Two large elliptical galaxies, NGC 4889 and NGC 4874 are shown in this image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.
Two large elliptical galaxies, NGC 4889 and NGC 4874 are shown in this image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

Dwarfs in Coma Cluster

This image shows the first-ever map of the surface of an exoplanet, or a planet beyond our solar system. Showing temperature variations across the cloudy tops of a gas giant called HD 189733b, the infrared data is taken by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.
This image shows the first-ever map of the surface of an exoplanet, or a planet beyond our solar system. Showing temperature variations across the cloudy tops of a gas giant called HD 189733b, the infrared data is taken by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

First Map of Alien World (animation)

This artist's animation shows a typical young galaxy, teeming with hot, newborn stars and exploding supernovas. The supernovas are seen as white flashes of light.
This artist's animation shows a typical young galaxy, teeming with hot, newborn stars and exploding supernovas. The supernovas are seen as white flashes of light.

Fires of Galactic Youth (Artist Animation)

This artist's concept illustrates how planetary systems arise out of massive collisions between rocky bodies. NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope show that these catastrophes continue to occur around stars even after they have developed full-sized planets.
This artist's concept illustrates how planetary systems arise out of massive collisions between rocky bodies. NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope show that these catastrophes continue to occur around stars even after they have developed full-sized planets.

The Rocky World of Young Planetary Systems (Artist Concept)

In the image from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, angelic figures take on the form of the galactic group called Stephan's Quintet.
In the image from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, angelic figures take on the form of the galactic group called Stephan's Quintet.

Stephan's Quintet

Astronomers have found unexpected rings and arcs of ultraviolet light around a selection of galaxies, four of which are shown here as viewed by NASA's and the European Space Agency's Hubble Space Telescope.
Astronomers have found unexpected rings and arcs of ultraviolet light around a selection of galaxies, four of which are shown here as viewed by NASA's and the European Space Agency's Hubble Space Telescope.

Ultraviolet Ring Around the Galaxies

This image from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, shows four galaxies in the Virgo cluster: Messier 59, Messier 60, NGC 4647, and NGC 4638. It also shows the tracks of three asteroids, which appear in this image as trails of green dots.
This image from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, shows four galaxies in the Virgo cluster: Messier 59, Messier 60, NGC 4647, and NGC 4638. It also shows the tracks of three asteroids, which appear in this image as trails of green dots.

Asteroids in Virgo

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

ESA's Herschel Space Observatory has discovered a giant, galaxy-packed filament ablaze with billions of new stars. The filament connects two clusters of galaxies that, along with a third cluster, will smash together in several billion years.
ESA's Herschel Space Observatory has discovered a giant, galaxy-packed filament ablaze with billions of new stars. The filament connects two clusters of galaxies that, along with a third cluster, will smash together in several billion years.

A Star-Bursting Filament

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

This illustration shows the unusual orbit of planet Kepler-413b around a close pair of orange and red dwarf stars. The planet's 66-day orbit is tilted 2.5 degrees with respect to the plane of the binary stars' orbit.
This illustration shows the unusual orbit of planet Kepler-413b around a close pair of orange and red dwarf stars. The planet's 66-day orbit is tilted 2.5 degrees with respect to the plane of the binary stars' orbit.

Wobbly Planet Orbital Schematic (Illustration)

This image of the microwave sky was synthesized using data spanning the range of light frequencies detected by ESA's Planck. A vast portion of the sky is dominated by the diffuse emission from gas and dust in our Milky Way galaxy.
This image of the microwave sky was synthesized using data spanning the range of light frequencies detected by ESA's Planck. A vast portion of the sky is dominated by the diffuse emission from gas and dust in our Milky Way galaxy.

Planck's View of the Whole Sky

This image from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope shows Herbig-Haro 30, the prototype of a gas-rich 'young stellar object' disk around a star.
This image from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope shows Herbig-Haro 30, the prototype of a gas-rich 'young stellar object' disk around a star.

Dark Disks Around Young Stars

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has detected the solid form of buckyballs in space for the first time. To form a solid particle, the buckyballs must stack together, as illustrated in this artist's concept showing the very beginnings of the process.
NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has detected the solid form of buckyballs in space for the first time. To form a solid particle, the buckyballs must stack together, as illustrated in this artist's concept showing the very beginnings of the process.

Building a Buckyball Particle in Space (Artist Concept)

NASA's Great Observatories continue Galileo's legacy with stunning images and breakthrough science from the Hubble Space Telescope, the Spitzer Space Telescope, and the Chandra X-ray Observatory.
NASA's Great Observatories continue Galileo's legacy with stunning images and breakthrough science from the Hubble Space Telescope, the Spitzer Space Telescope, and the Chandra X-ray Observatory.

NASA's Great Observatories Celebrate the International Year of Astronomy

The tangled arms of the Pinwheel galaxy, otherwise known as Messier 101, are decked out in red in this new infrared image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.
The tangled arms of the Pinwheel galaxy, otherwise known as Messier 101, are decked out in red in this new infrared image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

Pinwheel Looks 'Fab' in Infrared

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'


NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has at last found buckyballs (resembling soccer balls) in space shown in this artist's concept using Hubble's picture of the NGC 2440 nebula. Hubble image credit: NASA, ESA, STScI.

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has at last found buckyballs (resembling soccer balls) in space shown in this artist's concept using Hubble's picture of the NGC 2440 nebula. Hubble image credit: NASA, ESA, STScI.

Space Balls (Artist's Concept)

This illustration shows a cool star, called W1906+40, marked by a raging storm near one of its poles. The storm is thought to be similar to the Great Red Spot on Jupiter. Scientists discovered it using NASA's Kepler and Spitzer space telescopes.
This illustration shows a cool star, called W1906+40, marked by a raging storm near one of its poles. The storm is thought to be similar to the Great Red Spot on Jupiter. Scientists discovered it using NASA's Kepler and Spitzer space telescopes.

Cool Star Marked by Long-Lived Storm (Artist's Concept)

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

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has imaged an unusual edge-on galaxy, revealing remarkable details of its warped dusty disc and showing how colliding galaxies trigger the birth of new stars.
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has imaged an unusual edge-on galaxy, revealing remarkable details of its warped dusty disc and showing how colliding galaxies trigger the birth of new stars.

Edge-on Galaxy

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