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Mars polar cap mystery solved

...the Martian weather system and a giant impact crater could explain why the residual ice cap at the south pole of Mars is offset by several degrees...

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Hubble's ANGST reveals diversity of galaxies a survey of 14 million stars in 69 galaxies from the ACS Nearby Galaxy Survey Treasury (ANGST), Hubble reveals the true diversity of galaxies...

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Young galaxy's magnetism surprises astronomers

...the first direct measurement of the magnetic field in a young, distant galaxy, reveals it to be 10 times stronger than that of our own Milky Way...

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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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Landscaping the cosmos

Posted: October 03, 2008

The Hubble Heritage Project celebrates its 10th anniversary this month with a beautiful landscape image of the ‘hills’ and ‘valleys’ of gas and dust in the giant gaseous cavity of star-forming region NGC 3324.

This Hubble Heritage image shows the cavernous star-forming region of NGC 3324, blasted out by intense stellar radiation. Image: NASA, ESA and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

The Hubble Heritage Project has released nearly 130 ‘showcase’ images over the last 10 years, in order to present the Universe from an artistic perspective to stimulate a wide audience. This month's captivating landscape shows the edge of glowing nebula NGC 3324, located 7,200 light years away in the Carina Nebula complex.

The belly of the nebula has been carved out by intense ultraviolet radiation and stellar winds from several hot, young stars located well outside this image. Set amid a backdrop of soft, glowing blue light are wispy tendrils of gas as well as dark trunks of dust that tower light-years above the glowing wall of gas. The dense gas at the top of the wall resists the blistering ultraviolet radiation and creates a tower that points in the direction of the energy flow.

The image is a composite of data taken with two of Hubble's science instruments. Data taken with the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) in 2006 isolated light emitted by hydrogen. More recent data, taken in 2008 with the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2), isolated light emitted by sulphur and oxygen gas. To create a colour composite, the data from the sulphur filter are represented by red, from the oxygen filter by blue, and from the hydrogen filter by green.

The WFPC2 will be upgraded in the forthcoming Hubble repair mission, now likely to fly in early 2009 following a software glitch with the telescope earlier this week.


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