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In 1976 several elongated comet-like objects were discovered on pictures taken with the UK Schmidt Telescope in Australia. Because of their appearance, they became known as cometary globules even though they have nothing in common with comets. The object

Mouth of the Beast

March 5, 2015 9:24 am | News | Comments

In 1976 several elongated comet-like objects were discovered on pictures taken with the UK Schmidt Telescope in Australia. Because of their appearance, they became known as cometary globules even though they have nothing in common with comets. The object shown in this new picture, CG4, which is also sometimes referred to as God’s Hand, is one of these cometary globules. 

An Ant’s Eye

March 3, 2015 3:00 pm | News | Comments

This 20x photo of an ant eye received an honorable mention in the 2014 Nikon Small World...

Southern Tip of Phlegra Montes on Mars

March 3, 2015 11:21 am | News | Comments

This color image shows the southernmost portion of Phlegra Montes on Mars, a complex system of...

Close–up: Living Green Algae

March 2, 2015 12:20 pm | News | Comments

This 100x photo of living green algae in interference phase contrast received an honorable...

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Exploring the Colors of the Small Magellanic Cloud -- Courtesy of ESA/NASA/JPL-Caltech/STScI – click to enlarge

Colors in the Cloud: Exploring the Colors of the Small Magellanic Cloud

February 27, 2015 3:02 pm | by ESA | News | Comments

Astronomical images often look like works of art. This picture of one of our nearest neighboring galaxies, the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC), is certainly no exception! The scene is actually a collaboration between two cosmic artists — ESA’s Herschel space observatory and NASA’s Spitzer space telescope.

Chicago in Winter -- Courtesy of NASA/ESA/Samantha Cristoforetti – click to enlarge

Chicago in Winter

February 26, 2015 9:46 am | News | Comments

From the International Space Station, astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti took this photograph of Chicago and posted it to social media. Crewmembers on the space station photograph the Earth from their unique point of view located 200 miles above the surface as part of the Crew Earth Observations program. Photographs record how the planet is changing over time.

Sagittal Brain Slice Showing Cell Nuclei and Purkinije Cells -- Courtesy of Nikon Small World -- 2014 Nikon Small World Honorable Mention -- Click to enlarge

Sagittal Brain Slice Showing Cell Nuclei and Purkinije Cells

February 25, 2015 11:33 am | News | Comments

This 40x photo shows a sagittal brain slice with cell nuclei and Purkinije cells expressing EGFP. It received an honorable mention in the 2014 Nikon Small World Photomicrophotography Competition, which recognizes excellence in photography with the optical microscope, and was taken using confocal microscopy.

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Astronaut Barry Wilmore -- Courtesy of NASA – click to enlarge

Astronaut Barry Wilmore on First of Three Spacewalks

February 24, 2015 12:09 pm | by NASA | News | Comments

NASA astronaut Barry Wilmore works outside the International Space Station on the first of three spacewalks preparing the station for future arrivals by U.S. commercial crew spacecraft, on February 21, 2015. Fellow spacewalker Terry Virts, seen reflected in the visor, shared this photograph on social media.

Ant Carrying its Larva

February 23, 2015 12:10 pm | News | Comments

This 5x photo of an ant carrying its larva received an honorable mention in the 2014 Nikon Small World Photomicrophotography Competition, which recognizes excellence in photography with the optical microscope, and was taken using reflected light and focus stacking.

Conichalcite pseudomorph after azurite -- Courtesy of Nikon Small World -- 2014 Nikon Small World Honorable Mention -- Click to enlarge

Mineral Close-up: Conichalcite Pseudomorph after Azurite

February 20, 2015 11:41 am | News | Comments

This 6x photo of a pseudomorph of conichalcite after azurite received an honorable mention in the 2014 Nikon Small World Photomicrophotography Competition, which recognizes excellence in photography with the optical microscope, and was taken using transmitted light.

Solar Dynamics: Curly-Q Filament Blast -- Courtesy of Solar Dynamics Observatory, NASA

Solar Dynamics: Curly-Q Filament Blast

February 19, 2015 11:04 am | by NASA | News | Comments

A solar filament erupted from the sun in the shape of a twisted arch, and the activity in the lower corona was caught in a wavelength of extreme ultraviolet light. The event occurred over a three-hour period on February 4, 2015, with most of the filament falling back into the Sun. Filaments are notoriously unstable.

Comet Lovejoy, the Pleiades and the California Nebula -- Courtesy of P. Horálek/ESO – Click to enlarge

Nightfall Raises the Curtain: Celestial Nomad Takes Center Stage

February 18, 2015 12:40 pm | by ESO | News | Comments

In this new ESO image, nightfall raises the curtain on a theatrical display taking place in the cloudless skies over La Silla. In a scene humming with activity, the major players captured here are Comet Lovejoy, glowing green in the center of the image; the Pleiades above and to the right; and the California Nebula, providing some contrast in the form of a red arc of gas directly to the right of Lovejoy.

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Rotifer showing mouth interior and heart-shaped corona -- Courtesy of Nikon Small World

1st Place Winner: Rotifer Showing Mouth Interior and Heart-shaped Corona

February 17, 2015 3:30 pm | News | Comments

This 40x photo of a rotifer shows the mouth interior and heart-shaped corona. It won 1st Place in the 2014 Nikon Small World Photomicrophotography Competition, which recognizes excellence in photography with the optical microscope, and was taken using differential interference contrast.

Las Vegas and Lake Mead - Courtesy of USGS/ESA

Las Vegas and Lake Mead

February 13, 2015 3:51 pm | by ESA | News | Comments

This image from the Landsat-8 satellite acquired on September 23, 2014, brings us over the southwest United States: Nevada and Arizona. Las Vegas with its grid-like urban plan is visible near the center. Sitting in a basin of the Mojave Desert, the city is surrounded by a number of mountain ranges.

Little Sombrero an Edge-on Galaxy -- Courtesy of ESA/Hubble & NASA; Acknowledgement: Josh Barrington

Little Sombrero an Edge-on Galaxy

February 13, 2015 10:47 am | by NASA | News | Comments

Galaxies can take many shapes and be oriented any way relative to us in the sky. This can make it hard to figure out their actual morphology, as a galaxy can look very different from different viewpoints. A special case is when we are lucky enough to observe a spiral galaxy directly from its edge, providing us with a spectacular view like this one.

Active Fluid Flow around a Coral Polyp -- Courtesy of Nikon Small World

Active Fluid Flow around a Coral Polyp

February 12, 2015 12:56 pm | News | Comments

This 4x photo shows active fluid flow around a coral polyp (P. damicornis). It won 6th Place in the 2014 Nikon Small World Photomicrophotography Competition, which recognizes excellence in photography with the optical microscope, and was taken using fluorescence and autofluorescence.

Space Station Flyover -- Courtesy of NASA/ESA/Samantha Cristoforetti

Space Station Flyover: Gulf of Aden and Horn of Africa

February 11, 2015 11:44 am | by ESA | News | Comments

European Space Agency astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, who is working and living on the International Space Station as part of Italy’s Futura mission, took this photograph from the International Space Station. Cristoforetti wrote, "A spectacular flyover of the Gulf of Aden and the Horn of Africa. #HelloEarth"

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Rotifer Actively Feeding -- Courtesy of Nikon Small World

A Rotifer Actively Feeding

February 10, 2015 12:20 pm | News | Comments

This 417x photo shows a rotifer (Conochilus unicornis) actively feeding — this rotifer species forms a free floating spherical colony. It won 13th Placein the 2014 Nikon Small World Photomicrophotography Competition, which recognizes excellence in photography with the optical microscope, and was taken using differential interference contrast.

Curiosity Rover at Pahrump Hills -- Courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

Curiosity Rover at Pahrump Hills

February 9, 2015 11:30 am | by NASA | News | Comments

NASA's Curiosity Mars rover can be seen at the "Pahrump Hills" area of Gale Crater in this view from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Pahrump Hills is an outcrop at the base of Mount Sharp. The region contains sedimentary rocks that scientists believe formed in the presence of water.

Portugal’s Capital, Lisbon, from Space -- Courtesy of Copernicus/ESA

Portugal’s Capital, Lisbon, from Space

February 6, 2015 3:42 pm | by ESA | News | Comments

This image from Sentinel-1A’s radar shows the metropolitan area of Portugal’s capital, Lisbon. Flowing in from the upper-right corner is the Tagus River. Originating in central Spain, the Tagus is the longest river on the Iberian Peninsula, stretching over 1,000 kilometers. The river flows west through Portugal, emptying into the Atlantic Ocean at Lisbon

Three Transgenic Kidneys Cultured Together -- Courtesy of Nikon Small World

Three Transgenic Kidneys Cultured Together

February 5, 2015 3:46 pm | News | Comments

This 20x photo of three transgenic kidneys cultured together shows colliding, branching collecting duct systems. It won 16th Place in the 2014 Nikon Small World Photomicrophotography Competition, which recognizes excellence in photography with the optical microscope, and was taken using confocal microscopy.

Cloud Streets in the Bering Sea -- Courtesy of NASA/Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC

Cloud Streets in the Bering Sea

February 4, 2015 11:21 am | by NASA | News | Comments

Ice, wind, cold temperatures and ocean waters combined to created dramatic cloud formations over the Bering Sea in late January, 2015. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA's Aqua satellite passed over the region and captured this true-color image on January 23.

American leafminer moth Coptodisca lucifluella has been invading Italian walnut orchards since 2010. Interestingly, the moth lives on pecan trees in the United States, but invaded a new host plant in Europe: the walnut tree.

Leafminer Moth Invades Italy

February 3, 2015 4:14 pm | News | Comments

American leafminer moth Coptodisca lucifluella has been invading Italian walnut orchards since 2010. Interestingly, the moth lives on pecan trees in the United States, but invaded a new host plant in Europe: the walnut tree.       

Planck view of BICEP2 field Courtesy of ESA/Planck Collaboration. Acknowledgment: M.-A. Miville-Deschênes, CNRS – Institut d’Astrophysique Spatiale, Université Paris-XI, Orsay, France

Searching for Gravitational Waves

February 2, 2015 11:05 am | by ESA | News | Comments

This image shows a patch of the southern sky and is based on observations performed by ESA’s Planck satellite at microwave and sub-millimetre wavelengths. The color scale represents the emission from dust, a minor but crucial component of the interstellar medium that pervades our Milky Way galaxy. The texture, instead, indicates the orientation of the Galactic magnetic field. It is based on measurements of the direction of polarized light.

Crawling Bone Cancer Cell -- Courtesy of Nikon Small World

Crawling Bone Cancer Cell

January 30, 2015 11:32 am | News | Comments

This 8,000x photo of a crawling bone cancer cell showing actin filament bundles in the lamella won 20th Placein the 2014 Nikon Small World Photomicrophotography Competition, which recognizes excellence in photography with the optical microscope. It was taken using structured illumination microscopy.

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin in the Apollo 11 Lunar Module -- Courtesy of NASA

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin in the Apollo 11 Lunar Module

January 28, 2015 8:33 am | by NASA | News | Comments

This July 20, 1969, photograph of the interior view of the Apollo 11 Lunar Module shows astronaut Edwin E. “Buzz” Aldrin, Jr. during the lunar landing mission. The picture was taken by astronaut Neil A. Armstrong, commander, prior to the landing. Aldrin was the second American to set foot on the lunar surface.

Daisy Petal with Fungal Infection and Pollen Grains -- Courtesy of Nikon Small World

Daisy Petal with Fungal Infection and Pollen Grains

January 27, 2015 8:50 am | News | Comments

This 10x photo shows a daisy petal with fungal infection and pollen grains, whole mount, unstained. It won 10th Place in the 2014 Nikon Small World Photomicrophotography Competition, which recognizes excellence in photography with the optical microscope and was taken using confocal autofluorescence.

Jupiter’s Cratered Moon Callisto -- Courtesy of NASA/JPL/DLR

Jupiter’s Cratered Moon Callisto

January 26, 2015 11:08 am | by European Space Agency (ESA) | News | Comments

The speckled object depicted here is Callisto, Jupiter’s second largest moon. This image was taken in May 2001 by NASA’s Galileo spacecraft, which studied Jupiter and its moons from 1995 until 2003. Similar in appearance to a golf ball, Callisto is covered almost uniformly with pockmarks and craters across its surface, evidence of relentless collisions.

The Brightest Comet in Earth's Sky -- Courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech

The Brightest Comet in Earth's Sky

January 23, 2015 1:55 pm | by NASA | News | Comments

Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) is one of more than 32 comets imaged by NASA's NEOWISE mission from December 2013 to December 2014. This image combines a series of observations made in November 2013, when Lovejoy was 1.7 astronomical units from the sun. The image spans half of one degree. It shows the comet moving in a mostly west and slightly south direction.

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