Astronomical

Supermassive Sphere Brightens Post-Impact

In this second artist's impression a huge sphere in the center of a galaxy is shown after a star has collided with it. Enormous amounts of heat and a dramatic increase in the brightness of the sphere are generated by this event. The lack of observation of such flares from the center of galaxies means that this hypothetical scenario is almost completely ruled out. (Mark A. Garlick/CfA) 

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Astronomical

Galaxy Cluster Abell 2744

A Hubble Space Telescope view of the galaxy cluster Abell 2744 is annotated in cyan and magenta to show how it acts as a ‘gravitational lens,’ magnifying more distant background galaxies. Cyan highlights the distribution of mass in the cluster, mostly in the form of dark matter. Magenta highlights the degree to which the background galaxies are magnified, which is related to the mass distribution.

Credit: STScI/NASA/CATS Team/R. Livermore (UT Austin)

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Astronomical

Galaxy Cluster MACS 0416

A Hubble Space Telescope view of the galaxy cluster MACS 0416 is annotated in cyan and magenta to show how it acts as a ‘gravitational lens,’ magnifying more distant background galaxies. Cyan highlights the distribution of mass in the cluster, mostly in the form of dark matter. Magenta highlights the degree to which the background galaxies are magnified, which is related to the mass distribution.

Credit: STScI/NASA/CATS Team/R. Livermore (UT Austin)

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Astronomical

Orion

This view of Orion, the hunter, was captured from McDonald Observatory on November 20, 2016 by a DSLR camera piggybacked on a three-inch telescope for a 12-minute exposure. Supergiant star Betelgeuse forms the hunter's bright orange shoulder at top left. (Credit: Tom Montemayor)

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Astronomical

Motions of Proxima Centauri due to Orbiting Planet

This plot shows how the motion of Proxima Centauri toward and away from Earth is changing with time over the first half of 2016. Sometimes Proxima Centauri is approaching Earth at about 3 miles per hour (5 kph) — normal human walking pace — and at times receding at the same speed. This regular pattern of changing radial velocities repeats with a period of 11.2 days.

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Astronomical

Proxima b Infographic

This infographic compares the orbit of the planet around Proxima Centauri (Proxima b) with the same region of our solar system. Proxima Centauri is smaller and cooler than the Sun and the planet orbits much closer to its star than Mercury. As a result, it lies well within the habitable zone, where liquid water can exist on the planet’s surface. Credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser/G. Coleman

 

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Astronomical

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