NASA Telescope image

Hubble Observes Brightest Magnified Galaxy

Thanks to the presence of a natural “zoom lens” in space, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope got a uniquely close-up look at the brightest “magnified” galaxy yet discovered. In this image the light from a distant galaxy, nearly 10 billion light-years away, has been warped into a nearly 90-degree arc of light in the galaxy cluster RCS2 032727-132623. The galaxy cluster lies 5 billion light-years away. So-called gravitational lens is produced when space is warped by a massive foreground object, whether it is the sun, a black hole or an entire cluster of galaxies.

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Glimpses of Interstellar Material Beyond our Solar System

NASA’s Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) has captured the best and most complete glimpse yet of what lies beyond the solar system. The new measurements give clues about how and where our solar system formed, the forces that physically shape our solar system, and the history of other stars in the Milky Way. The Earth-orbiting spacecraft observed four separate types of atoms including hydrogen, oxygen, neon and helium. These interstellar atoms are the byproducts of older stars, which spread across the galaxy and fill the vast space between stars.

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Stars Birth in Cygnus X

Spitzer New Image Shows Space Nursery

Most stars, likely including our own sun, grew up in cosmic turmoil, as illustrated in this new image from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope. The image shows one of the most active and turbulent regions of star birth in our Milky Way galaxy, a region called Cygnus X. The choppy cloud of gas and dust lies 4,500 light-years away in the constellation Cygnus or the “Swan.” It is home to thousands of massive stars and many more stars around the size of our sun or smaller. Spitzer has captured an infrared view of the entire region, bubbling with star formation. Most stars are thought to form in huge star-forming regions like Cygnus X.

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