Photo: A Royal Celebration  This enormous section of the Milky Way galaxy is a mosaic of images from NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE. The constellations Cassiopeia and Cepheus are featured in this 1,000-square degree expanse. These constellations, named after an ancient Queen and King of Ethiopia in Greek mythology, are visible in the northern sky every night of the year as seen from most of the United States.  To the unaided human eye, Cassiopeia is easily recognizable by the five bright stars that make up its “W” shape. However, WISE observed infrared light, where the sky takes on a very different appearance. The bright stars of the constellations fade into obscurity amongst the backdrop of millions of other stars revealed by WISE. Cool clouds of dust that fill the space between the stars in the Milky Way glow in infrared light and tell us more about the story of how stars are born, and how they die.  Within this image are dozens of dense clouds, called nebulae. Many of
Photo: This all-sky Fermi view includes only sources with energies greater than 10 GeV. From some of these sources, Fermi's LAT detects only one gamma-ray photon every four months. Brighter colors indicate brighter gamma-ray sources. Credit: NASA/DOE/Fermi LAT Collaboration   Read more at: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/GLAST/news/energy-extremes.html
Photo: The composite image taken in visible and near-infrared light, reveals the location of five tiny galaxies clustered together 13.1 billion light-years away. The circles pinpoint the galaxies. Credit: NASA, ESA, M. Trenti (University of Colorado, Boulder and Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge, U.K.), L. Bradley (Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore), and the BoRG team  (University of Colorado, Boulder and Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge, U.K.), L. Bradley (Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore), and the BoRG team  Read more at: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hubble/science/far-protocluster.html
Photo: This new image shows the Small Magellanic Cloud galaxy in infrared light from the Herschel Space Observatory a European Space Agency-led mission with important NASA contributions, and NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope. The Large and Small Magellanic Clouds are the two biggest satellite galaxies of our home galaxy, the Milky Way, though they are still considered dwarf galaxies compared to the big spiral of the Milky Way.  In combined data from Herschel and Spitzer, the irregular distribution of dust in the Small Magellanic Cloud becomes clear. A stream of dust extends to the left in this image, known as the galaxy's "wing," and a bar of star formation appears on the right.  The colors in this image indicate temperatures in the dust that permeates the Cloud. Colder regions show where star formation is at its earliest stages or is shut off, while warm expanses point to new stars heating surrounding dust. The coolest areas and objects appear in red, corresponding to infrared light taken up by
Photo: El Gordo Galaxy Cluster  A composite image shows El Gordo in X-ray light from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory in blue, along with optical data from the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope (VLT) in red, green, and blue, and infrared emission from the NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope in red and orange.  X-ray data from Chandra reveal a distinct cometary appearance of El Gordo, including two "tails" extending to the upper right of the image. Along with the VLT's optical data, this shows that El Gordo is, in fact, the site of two galaxy clusters running into one another at several million miles per hour. This and other characteristics make El Gordo akin to the well-known object called the Bullet Cluster, which is located almost 4 billion light years closer to Earth.  As with the Bullet Cluster, there is evidence that normal matter, mainly composed of hot, X-ray bright gas, has been wrenched apart from the dark matter in El Gordo. The hot gas in each cluster was slowed down
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A Royal Celebration This enormous section of the Milky Way galaxy is a mosaic of images from NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE. The constellations Cassiopeia and Cepheus are featured in this 1,000-square degree expanse. These constellations, named after an ancient Queen and King of Ethiopia in Greek mythology, are visible in the northern sky every night of the year as seen from most of the United States. To the unaided human eye, Cassiopeia is easily recognizable by the five bright stars that make up its “W” shape. However, WISE observed infrared light, where the sky takes on a very different appearance. The bright stars of the constellations fade into obscurity amongst the backdrop of millions of other stars revealed by WISE. Cool clouds of dust that fill the space between the stars in the Milky Way glow in infrared light and tell us more about the story of how stars are born, and how they die. Within this image are dozens of dense clouds, called nebulae. Many of
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