Northern Lights above Lofoten : The Aurora Borealis or northern lights are familiar visitors to night skies above the village of Reine in the Lofoten Islands, Norway, planet Earth. In this scene, captured from a mountaintop camp site, the auroral curtains do seem to create an eerie tension with the coastal lights though. A modern perspective on the world at night, the stunning image was chosen as the over all winner in The World at Night’s 2016 International Earth and Sky Photo Contest. Selections were made from over 900 entries highlighting the beauty of the night sky and its battle with light pollution. via NASA

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Artistic Lollipops Are Glazed With The Galaxy And More

LIQ NYC is a boutique lollipop maker which turns the delectable balls of candy into edible works of art. The sugary globes feature vivid imprints of the planets, famous portraits and artworks, floral blooms as well as many other psychedelic imagery. The radiant swirl of bright colors and clean images are magical- similar to peering inside a glass sphere screening modern and contemporary art.

The artistic orbs are a unique canvas to portray art, and although it’s longevity dwindles down to the sugar encased goodies, the technique and the perfect reflection of the original art and textures reveal a depth on a truly inspired piece of art. The delicious assortment of lollipops can be viewed and purchased on their Etsy shop.

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NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day 2016 July 24 

M2-9: Wings of a Butterfly Nebula 

Are stars better appreciated for their art after they die? Actually, stars usually create their most artistic displays as they die. In the case of low-mass stars like our Sun and M2-9 pictured above, the stars transform themselves from normal stars to white dwarfs by casting off their outer gaseous envelopes. The expended gas frequently forms an impressive display called a planetary nebula that fades gradually over thousands of years.

M2-9, a butterfly planetary nebula 2100 light-years away shown in representative colors, has wings that tell a strange but incomplete tale. In the center, two stars orbit inside a gaseous disk 10 times the orbit of Pluto. The expelled envelope of the dying star breaks out from the disk creating the bipolar appearance. Much remains unknown about the physical processes that cause planetary nebulae.

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WELCOME TO THE FINAL WEEK OF SPACE MONTH! This week’s theme is….. Galaxies!!

The MILKY WAY Galaxy is home to our solar system. The “milky” part of its name is derived from its appearance as a dim glowing band arching across the night sky whose individual stars can’t be distinguished by the naked eye. It appears as a band from Earth because it’s disk shape is being viewed from within.

It was thought that the Milky Way contained all of the stars in the universe up until the early 1920s. It was then discovered that the Milky Way was only one of many more galaxies. Today, about 200 billion galaxies have been discovered in the observable universe.

Our galaxy is a barred spiral galaxy and contains between 100-400 billion stars, although that number could be close to one trillion. There are around 100 billion planets, including planets in our own solar system.

We’re located 27 000 light years from the galactic center and are located in the Orion arm. The very center has a strong radio source, which is thought to be a supermassive black hole.

The Milky Way has many satellite galaxies and is part of the Local Group of galaxies, which is a component of the Virgo Supercluster, which is itself a component of the Laniakea Supercluster.

Got any questions/facts about the Milky Way Galaxy? Send me a message and we can talk about it! Stay tuned for tomorrow’s Galaxy!

Have a favourite galaxy? Send it to me and I might feature it as a part of this week’s space month!