NGC 346 is the brightest star-forming region in the Small Magellanic Cloud - a Dwarf Galaxy near our Milky Way. Massive stars have dispersed the glowing gas within and around this star cluster to form this beautiful glowing nebula.
Earlier this afternoon
(July 6) the John Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory released three new images of Pluto. Taken on July 1 and July 3, the spacecraft was at a
distance of 9.2 and 7.8 million miles, respectively.
The three images, taken
with the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager, show over two-thirds of Pluto’s
surface, including the hemisphere that will be imaged in high definition during
next week’s flyby.
Today at 3:41 pm EDT, Monday July 6, Earth is at its furthest distance from the Sun for this year, aphelion—94,506,507.39 miles, center to center. That’s about 1.7% further than our average solar distance.
Closest Ever Images of Pluto Reveal Mysterious Dots
There’s something odd going on along Pluto’s equator.
by Bec Crew
As NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft draws ever closer to our favourite
icy dwarf planet, it’s taken what are now the closest ever images of
Pluto’s distinctly beige surface. Thanks to these images, we can now see
for the first time a series of very large and evenly spaced dark spots
running along its equator.
The source of the spots isn’t clear,
and the team at NASA are intrigued by how they came to be so
consistently sized and spaced. NASA reports that each of them is 480
kilometres (300 miles) in diameter, which is about the size of the state
of Missouri. “It’s a real puzzle - we don’t know what the spots are,
and we can’t wait to find out,” New Horizons principal investigator Alan
Stern said in a press release…
At its heart is AURA’s vision for a High-Definition Space Telescope (HDST), described by some as a “super-Hubble,”that could improve on that storied telescope’s capabilities by a factor of more than 100. The HDST would be the centerpiece of a space observatory that would also host a suite of specialized instruments, including coronagraphs that can block light from stars and allow astronomers to glimpse nearby objects such as exoplanets.