Stunning Space Photos of the Week (June 9-14)
NASA/CXC/SAO/R.Barnard, Z.Lee et al.
This week, NASA released X-ray observations from the Chandra X-ray Observatory of the Andromeda Galaxy's central hub -- the pink dots are emissions from 26 new stellar-mass black hole candidates. A total of 35 stellar-mass black holes are now thought to be buzzing around the galactic center.
The Long March-2F rocket carrying China's manned Shenzhou-10 spacecraft blasts off from the launch pad at Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Jiuquan, northwest China's Gansu Province, on June 11, 2013. Crew Nie Haisheng, Zhang Xiaoguang, and Wang Yaping docked with China's prototype space station two days later on June 13.
The crew of the Shenzhou-10 spacecraft send a greeting to the Chinese people in celebration of the Dragon Boat Festival as they approach China's prototype space station, Tiangong 1.
Meanwhile, on the International Space Station, NASA astronaut Karen Nyberg, Expedition 36 flight engineer, gets a workout on the Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED) in the Tranquility node of the International Space Station. It was also announced this week that another piece of keep-fit equipment -- the Treadmill Vibration Isolation System (TVIS) -- will be dumped after a decade of use on the orbital outpost.
Messaging Intelligent Extraterrestrials (METI): The Jamesburg Earth Station radio dish in Carmel Valley, Calif., has been leased to Lone Signal -- a crowd-funded project that will beam the public's text messages and images to the stars, hopefully for decades, in a long-duration attempt to message extraterrestrials.
NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington
This photograph shows a recent view of the limb of the solar system's innermost planet, Mercury, as observed by NASA's MESSENGER mission currently in orbit around the small world.
ESA/Hubble & NASA
A contorted object captured by Hubble in this picture is IRAS 22491-1808, also known as the South America Galaxy. It is an ultraluminous infrared galaxy (ULIRG) that emits a huge amount of light at infrared wavelengths. The reason for this intense infrared emission is due to the two colliding galaxies that compose IRAS 22491-1808 generating new star formation.
This spectacular group of young stars is the open star cluster NGC 3766 in the constellation of Centaurus (The Centaur). This week, astronomers using the Swiss 1.2-metre Leonhard Euler Telescope at the ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile have announced the discovery of 36 stars that are of a new and unknown class of variable star.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Ariz.
Using the High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), scientists this week announced the discovery of channels caused by slabs of carbon dioxide ice sliding down Martian slopes.