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What appear to be tiny oases nurturing a variety of trees in a vast pink desert are not, actually. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured this image in April of 2008 near Mars’ North Pole. Experts believe the dark spots are wet patches of Martian sand that grew from melting carbon dioxide ice due to the spring Sun. In close up views of the image sand slides are evident from swirling clouds of dust.

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A solar corona appears over Ama Dablam, a famous Himalayan mountain peak. A corona, one of the few quantum color effects visible to the naked eye, can occur when the sun (or moon) is observed through thin clouds. The light of the sun is separated into wavelengths by water droplets in the atmosphere creating the colorful rings.

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Auroras, also known as northern lights, form when particles from the Sun enter Earth’s magnetosphere, releasing charged particles into Earth’s magnetic field. These particles strike atoms creating a colorful light show. The auroral glow takes place high in the atmosphere and clouds lie below. This image reveals clearly the respective layers in breath-taking manner.

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The Veil Nebula, in the constellation Cygnus, is one of the most massive and brilliant features in the x-ray sky. The supernova that created this spectacular cosmic scene exploded many thousands of years ago. This small section, captured by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, is in a region known as the Witch’s Broom Nebula.

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The navigation camera on Rosetta captured this image of Comet 67P\Churyumov-Gerasimenko tumbling through space with gases escaping the larger lobe with an unnatural glow.

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Dione, one of Saturn’s larger moons, orbits across the face of the planet with Saturn’s unilluminated rings crossing the planet’s middle.

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Astronaut Scott Kelly captured his daily dose of aurora from the International Space Station.

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The first planet found with the aid of a telescope, Uranus was discovered in 1781 by astronomer William Herschel. The seventh planet from the sun is so distant that it takes 84 years to complete one orbit.

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Saturn – Earth size comparison.

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Posted January 28, 2016 by markosun in Uncategorized

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