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Is that a moon behind you?

21 December 2014 Astronomy Now

Tethys appears to be peeking out from behind Rhea in this image from the Cassini probe. Scientists believe that Tethys’ surprisingly high albedo is due to the water ice jets emerging from its neighbour, Enceladus.

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The hot blue stars of Messier 47

17 December 2014 Astronomy Now

This spectacular image of the brilliant young blue stars and contrasting red giants of open cluster Messier 47 in the southern constellation of Puppis was taken with the 2.2-metre MPG/ESO telescope at ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile.

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Galactic get-together has impressive light display

12 December 2014 Astronomy Now

NGC 2207 and IC 2163 are two colliding galaxies in the constellation of Ursa Major some 130 million light-years from Earth. Between them they have produced one of the most bountiful collections of ultraluminous X-ray sources (ULXs) known.

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Craters Hipparchus and Albategnius

4 December 2014 Mark Armstrong

First or last Quarter Moon is the best time to see some of the magnificent crater chains near the centre of the Earth-turned lunar hemisphere. Marnix Praet from Belgium provides this high-resolution view of the Hipparchus and Albategnius region.

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The Pleiades in all their glory

26 November 2014 Mark Armstrong

The Pleiades in Taurus, otherwise known as the Seven Sisters, is an unrivalled open cluster of late autumn and winter Northern Hemisphere skies. This marvellous portrait of M45 was taken by Ian Aiken.

NASA's reworked image of Europa based on late 1990s data from the Galileo spacecraft.
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NASA’s ‘remastered’ view of Europa

21 November 2014 Astronomy Now

NASA uses modern processing techniques to rework a mosaic of images sent back by the Galileo spacecraft in the late 1990s, delivering a high-resolution view of this icy ocean world in natural colours.

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Saturn’s swirling palette

18 November 2014 Astronomy Now

The fluid dynamics of Saturn’s upper cloud layers are interpreted in artistic terms in this 23rd August 2014 image from the Cassini-Huygens mission.