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SpaceAstronomer Alfonso Fernandez
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Astronomy & Space / Astronomía y Espacio
Astronomy & Space / Astronomía y Espacio

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The Witch Head Nebula
Image Credit & Copyright: Jeff Signorelli
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap151030.html

Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble .... maybe Macbeth should have consulted the Witch Head Nebula. A suggestively shaped reflection nebula, this cosmic crone is about 800 light-years away though. Its frightening visage seems to glare toward nearby bright star Rigel in Orion, just off the right edge of this frame. More formally known as IC 2118, the interstellar cloud of dust and gas is nearly 70 light-years across, its dust grains reflecting Rigel's starlight. In this composite portrait, the nebula's color is caused not only by the star's intense bluish light but because the dust grains scatter blue light more efficiently than red. The same physical process causes Earth's daytime sky to appear blue, although the scatterers in planet Earth's atmosphere are molecules of nitrogen and oxygen.
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Thanks to the Cassini mission, a great deal has been learned about Saturn’s system of moons (aka. the Cronian system) in the past decade. Thanks to the presence of an orbiter in the system, astronomers and space exploration enthusiasts have been treated…

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Hubble View: Smoke Ring for a Halo

Two stars shine through the center of a ring of cascading dust in this image taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. The star system is named DI Cha, and while only two stars are apparent, it is actually a quadruple system containing two sets of binary stars.

Learn more: http://go.nasa.gov/1SdbxpF
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We've come a long way from the first days when Clyde W. Tombaugh's grainy images of the ninth planet teased our imaginations. 
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Congratulations to everyone involved in +NASA New Horizons from all of us in Europe! A new horizon indeed! #Plutoflyby

http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/news/display.cfm?News_ID=49503

Credit: NASA/John Hopkins University of Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute
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Supernova 'Crime Scene,' Shows a Single White Dwarf to Blame: Astronomers have determined the pre-explosion mass of a white dwarf star that blew up thousands of years ago. The measurement strongly suggests the explosion involved only a single white dwarf, ruling out a well-established alternative scenario involving a pair of merging white dwarfs. Details: http://go.nasa.gov/1Ds5jyG 
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The  NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has imaged phantom objects near dead quasars - ethereal green objects which mark the graves of these objects that flickered to life and then faded.

http://sci.esa.int/hubble/55732-hubble-finds-ghosts-of-quasars-past-heic1507/


+Hubble Space Telescope +NASA  #galaxy   #quasars  
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Astronomers Observe a 4-Star System as it Forms http://bit.ly/1Ar2n2a
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Join us for the shortest lunar eclipse of the century happening tomorrow at 6:16am ET. Details: http://go.nasa.gov/1NMIs2p
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Six Galaxy Clusters: Dark Matter is Darker Than Once Thought
http://chandra.si.edu/photo/2015/dark/

These galaxy clusters are part of a large study using Chandra and Hubble that sets new limits on how dark matter—the mysterious substance that makes up most of the matter in the Universe—interacts with itself. The hot gas that envelopes the clusters glows brightly in X-rays detected by Chandra (pink). When combined with Hubble’s visible light data, astronomers can map where the stars and hot gas are after the collision, as well as the inferred distribution of dark matter (blue) through the effect of gravitational lensing.
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