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News: Stunning Photo of Pluto


This ethereal scene captured by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft tells yet another story of Pluto’s diversity of geological and compositional features—this time in an enhanced color image of the north polar area. Long canyons run vertically across the polar area—part of the informally named Lowell Regio, named for Percival Lowell, who founded Lowell Observatory and initiated the search that led to Pluto’s discovery. Full Story at Joe.My.God

The Milky Way’s Photo Close-Up

Milky Way

If you’re wondering what sort of psychedelic visuals we’re looking at here, it is the Milky Way in amazing detail. The European Southern Observatory (ESO) made these pictures public announcing the completion of its huge galaxy survey, with the help of a really strong telescope in Chile. “The APEX telescope in Chile has mapped the full area of the Galactic Plane visible from the southern hemisphere for the first time at submillimeter wavelengths — between infrared light and radio waves — and in finer detail than recent space-based surveys,” the ESO’s release says. “The pioneering 12-meter APEX telescope allows astronomers … Read more

News: Do Gas Planets Contain Water?


NASA scientists discover that several Jupiter-sized exoplanets previously thought to be dry in fact contain water: “‘Our results suggest it’s simply clouds hiding the water from prying eyes, and therefore rule out dry hot Jupiters,’ Jonathan Fortney of the University of California, Santa Cruz and a co-author on a paper published. ‘The alternative theory to this is that planets form in an environment deprived of water, but this would require us to completely rethink our current theories of how planets are born.’ The University of Deleware’s John Gizis, who studies brown dwarfs, a kind of ‘failed star’ that evolve similarly … Read more