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A Milky Way Shadow at Loch Ard Gorge

Explanation: Have you ever seen the Milky Way’s glow create shadows? To do so, conditions need to be just right. First and foremost, the sky…

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Sunset from the ISS

Explanation: What are these strange color bands being seen from the International Space Station? The Sun setting through Earth’s atmosphere. Pictured above, a sunset captured…

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Starry Night Scavenger Hunt

Explanation: Did you know that Van Gogh’s painting Starry Night includes Comet Hale-Bopp? Hopefully not, because it doesn’t. But the above image does. Although today’s…

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Orange Sun Simmering

> Explanation: Even a quiet Sun can be a busy place. And over the deep Solar Minimum of the past few years, our Sun has…

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Hand of Fate

A Pulsar’s Hand Explanation: As far as pulsars go, PSR B1509-58 appears young. Light from the supernova explosion that gave birth to it would have…

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What lies beneath?

Explanation: What created this strange sound in Earth’s Pacific Ocean? Pictured above is a visual representation of a loud and unusual sound, dubbed a Bloop,…

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Beautiful Pics of our Sun Farting + Video

Explanation: Don’t panic, the Sun has not gone wild. But this wild-looking portrait of the nearest star to planet Earth was made on March 30th…

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The Sun Farts

Explanation: What’s happened to our Sun? Last week, it produced one of the largest eruptive prominences ever seen. Pictured above, the prominence erupted in only…

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In The End, There can be only One

Explanation: On the right, surrounded by blue spiral arms, is spiral galaxy M81. On the left, marked by red gas and dust clouds, is irregular…

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Sun and Prominence

Explanation: Dramatic prominences can sometimes be seen looming just beyond the edge of the sun. Such was the case last week as a giant prominence,…

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The Mysterious Voynich Manuscript

Explanation: The Mysterious Voynich Manuscript The ancient text has no known title, no known author, and is written in no known language: what does it…

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Blue Moon Eclipse

The International Year of Astronomy 2009 ended with a Blue Moon and a partial lunar eclipse, as the second Full Moon of December grazed the…

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The Average Color of the Universe

Explanation: What color is the universe? More precisely, if the entire sky were smeared out, what color would the final mix be? This whimsical question…

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Galaxy Zoo Catalogs the Universe

Explanation: You, too, can Zoo. The Galaxy Zoo project has been enabling citizen scientists — inquisitive people like yourself armed with only a web browser–…

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LCROSS Centaur Impact Flash

Explanation: This mid-infrared image was taken in the last minutes of the LCROSS flight mission to the Moon. The small white spot (enlarged in the…

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Discovery’s Rainbow

Explanation: Just one minute before midnight EDT, Friday, August 28, the Space Shuttle Discovery began a long arc into a cloudy sky. Following the launch,…

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Eclipse City

Explanation: During July 22nd’s solar eclipse, the Moon’s dark shadow traced a narrow path as it raced eastward across India and China and on into…

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Triple Sunrise

Explanation: How can the same Sun rise three times? Last month on Friday, 2009 July 10, a spectacular triple sunrise was photographed at about 4:30…

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Devil’s Tower

Explanation: Was Devils Tower once an explosive volcano? Famous for its appearance in films such as Close Encounters, the origin of Devil’s Tower in Wyoming,…

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A Cosmic Call to Nearby Stars

Explanation: If Earth received this message from deep space, could we decode it? The people from the Cosmic Call project sent the above image as…

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Molecular Cloud Barnard 68

Explanation: Where did all the stars go? What used to be considered a hole in the sky is now known to astronomers as a dark…

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Possible Jet Blown Shells Near Microquasar Cygnus X-1

Explanation: What happens to matter that falls toward an energetic black hole? In the case of Cygnus X-1, perhaps little of that matter actually makes…

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Atlantis and Hubble Side by Side

Explanation: On Wednesday, May 13, two, tiny, fast moving spots crossed an otherwise featureless solar disk. Not sunspots though, the dark blemishes were silhouettes of…

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The Eskimo Nebula from Hubble

Explanation: In 1787, astronomer William Herschel discovered the Eskimo Nebula. From the ground, NGC 2392 resembles a person’s head surrounded by a parka hood. In…

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Global Warming Predictions

Explanation: How much will the Earth’s surface warm up over the lives of our children? No one is sure. Compared to the past 100 million…

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