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The Cygnus Wall of Star Formation : Sometimes, stars form in walls bright walls of interstellar gas. In this vivid skyscape, stars are forming in the W-shaped ridge of emission known as the Cygnus Wall. Part of a larger emission nebula with a distinctive outline popularly called The North America Nebula, the cosmic ridge spans about 20 light-years. Constructed using narrowband data to highlight the telltale reddish glow from ionized hydrogen atoms recombining with electrons, the image mosaic follows an ionization front with fine details of dark, dusty forms in silhouette. Sculpted by energetic radiation from the regions young, hot, massive stars, the dark shapes inhabiting the view are clouds of cool gas and dust with stars likely forming within. The North America Nebula itself, NGC 7000, is about 1,500 light-years away. via NASA

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Little Planet Astro Camp : Day and night on this little planet look a lot like day and night on planet Earth. In fact, the images used to construct the little planet projection, a digitally warped and stitched mosaic covering 360x180 degrees, were taken during day and night near Tarjn, Hungary, planet Earth. They span a successful 33-hour-long photo experiment at Julys Hungarian Astronomical Association Astro Camp. The time-series composite follows the solar disk in 20 minute intervals from sunrise to sunset and over six hours of star trails in the northern night sky centered on the North Celestial Pole near bright star Polaris. The orbiting International Space Station traced the offset arc across the northern night. Below the little planets nightside horizon, red light lamps of fellow astro-campers left the night-long, dancing trails. via NASA

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Ripples in the Red Sea.

The reflection of Sol’s light off the world’s seas reveals the dynamic currents passing through the waters when viewed from space. This image was taken by the MODIS instrument on NASA’s AQUA satellite, one of a group of about twenty that are revealing our world’s secrets in unprecedented detail.

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