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Successful first test of high speed Moon penetrator

...high speed penetrators that could one day be used to breach the surface of planets, moons and asteroids have successfully passed their first test in the UK...

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Cassini sees collisions of moonlets in Saturn’s ring ...rapid changes in Saturn’s F ring can be attributed to small moonlets embedded within the ring causing perturbations and collisions....

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Baby quasar detected near edge of visible Universe ...A group of radio astronomers using the European Very Long Baseline Interferometry Network has found an unexpected morphology in the most distant radio quasar ever...

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Video archive

STS-120 day 2 highlights

Flight Day 2 of Discovery's mission focused on heat shield inspections. This movie shows the day's highlights.


STS-120 day 1 highlights

The highlights from shuttle Discovery's launch day are packaged into this movie.


STS-118: Highlights

The STS-118 crew, including Barbara Morgan, narrates its mission highlights film and answers questions in this post-flight presentation.

 Full presentation
 Mission film

STS-120: Rollout to pad

Space shuttle Discovery rolls out of the Vehicle Assembly Building and travels to launch pad 39A for its STS-120 mission.


Dawn leaves Earth

NASA's Dawn space probe launches aboard a Delta 2-Heavy rocket from Cape Canaveral to explore two worlds in the asteroid belt.

 Full coverage

Dawn: Launch preview

These briefings preview the launch and science objectives of NASA's Dawn asteroid orbiter.

 Launch | Science

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Hubble brings galaxies out of coma

Posted: June 11, 2008

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has captured the magnificent starry population of the Coma Cluster galaxies, one of the densest known galaxy stockpiles in the Universe.

The Coma Cluster galaxies. A particularly bright spiral galaxy stands out in the upper left of the image. Image: NASA, ESA, Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA).

The Coma Cluster is over 300 million light years away near the Milky Way’s north pole, in an area unobscured by dust and gas from the plane of the Milky Way. It contains thousands of galaxies in a spherical shape more than 20 million light years in diameter, and Hubble homed in on a section of the cluster that is roughly one-third the way out from its centre.

Most of the galaxies that occupy the central portion of the Coma Cluster are pale gold-brown ellipticals, containing populations of old stars. Further out are spiral galaxies giving birth to new stars, accessorized by spiral arms and dust lanes. There are also a sprinkling of transitional galaxies which are made up of older stars but also show hints of a structure such as a bar or ring.

In the image above, one particularly bright, blue spiral galaxy stands out (upper left). A series of dusty spiral arms appears reddish brown against the whiter disk of the galaxy, and suggests that this galaxy has been disturbed at some point in the past. The other prominent galaxies in the image are ellipticals; the background galaxies lie far beyond the Coma Cluster sphere.

The data of the Coma Cluster were taken as part of a survey of a nearby rich galaxy cluster. Collectively they will provide a key database for studies of galaxy formation and evolution. This survey will also help to compare galaxies in different environments, both crowded and isolated, as well as to compare relatively nearby galaxies to more distant ones.