Summer Triangles over Japan : Have you ever seen the Summer Triangle? The bright stars Vega, Deneb, and Altair form a large triangle on the sky that can be seen rising in the early northern early spring during the morning and rising in the northern fall during the evening. During summer months, the triangle can be found nearly overhead near midnight. Featured here, the Summer Triangle asterism was captured last month from Gunma, Japan. In the foreground, sporting a triangular shape of its own, is a flowering 500 year old cherry tree, standing about 15 meters tall. The triangular shape of the asterism is only evident from the direction of Earth – in actuality the stars are thousands of light years apart in space. via NASA

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Today’s Google Doodle celebrates the life of Sally Ride, who became the first American woman to travel into space on June 18th, 1983. As Doodle’s animator Olivia Huynh explains, Ride was breaking barriers her whole life: working at NASA as a physicist and later becoming an educator, reaching millions of children — especially girls and minority students — to give them the message that they too could have a career in science. 

Ride died on July 23rd, 2012 from pancreatic cancer, with today’s Doodle marking what would have been her 64th birthday.

Arches Cluster is the densest known star cluster in the Milky Way. It is located about 25,000 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Sagittarius, it is so dense that in a region with a radius equal to the distance between the Sun and its nearest star there would be over 100,000 stars.

At least 150 stars within the cluster are among the brightest ever discovered in the the Milky Way. These stars are so bright and massive, that they will burn their fuel within a short time, on a cosmological scale, just a few million years, and die in spectacular supernova explosions.

Credit: NASA & ESA

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This is what astronauts see when they look out the window…