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A parting panorama from the Opportunity Mars rover

18 March 2019 Astronomy Now

NASA’s Mars Opportunity Rover was completing a 360-degree panorama of its surroundings on the inner slope of Endeavour Crater when a global dust storm silenced the spacecraft after nearly 15 years of operation on the red planet. The final panorama is made up of 354 images stitched together for a fitting farewell vista.

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Dramatic Jupiter

26 February 2019 Astronomy Now

Dramatic atmospheric features in Jupiter’s northern hemisphere are captured in this view from NASA’s Juno spacecraft.

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Hubble looks into the heart of the Whirlpool Galaxy

18 February 2019 Astronomy Now

The Whirlpool Galaxy, also known as M51, is familiar to legions of amateur astronomers as a relatively faint face-on spiral with a smaller companion galaxy, but the Hubble Space Telescope reveals the Whirlpool in all its splendour, a magnificent spiral studded with countless clusters and dust lanes.

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A stellar nursery bubbles up in the Large Magellanic Cloud

8 February 2019 Astronomy Now

Vast bubbles of ionised hydrogen gas are illuminated by hot young stars in gargantuan stellar nurseries like this one in the nearby Large Magellanic Cloud. This complex assembly of bubbles is host to a wide variety of objects, including one massive stellar object emitting a 33-lightyear-long jet.