Dust and gas envelop a cluster of massive stars called Pismis 24 in a new picture of a nebula in the constellation Scorpius. Radiation from the huge stars is carving the nebula into unusual shapes.
Released April 12, 2010, by the European Southern Observatory, the visible-light picture offers a new view of Pismis 24, home to stars that are each more than a hundred times as massive as the sun.
Image courtesy ESO/IDA/Danish 1.5 m/R. Gendler, U.G. Jørgensen, J. Skottfelt, K. Harpsøe
Mars Gullies in Motion?
These gullies in a Martian crater might be proof that the red planet has liquid water currently flowing on its surface, scientists said in a paper published March 26, 2010.
The gullies in Russell Crater—seen above in a 2008 picture from the HiRISE camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter—end abruptly rather than forming fans, as would be expected if the gullies had been made by dry material flowing downhill. The gullies were also seen to grow over time.
Scientists think the best explanation for the gullies is that seasonal melting of nearby water ice creates slurries of sand and liquid water, which flow down the crater's dunes.
The original CryoSat had been lost in 2005, when a rocket failure caused the satellite to crash into the sea during launch. The project is intended to precisely measure the changing thicknesses of sea ice and ice sheets to monitor how they're responding to global warming.
Photograph by Stephanie Corvaja, ESA
The largest member of the Leo Triplet, the galaxy known as Messier 66 shows off its unusual asymmetry in striking detail in a new picture from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope released April 8, 2010.
The galactic trio is close enough to interact, and astronomers think the gravitational pulls of the other two Leo galaxies are deforming the classic spiral of M66. Unlike other spiral galaxies, including our own Milky Way, M66 has mismatched arms, and the galaxy's central core has been displaced.
Image courtesy NASA, ESA and the Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration
Shifted due to centuries of seismic pressures, rock layers near Mars's equator lie cracked and out of whack in a high-resolution satellite picture released April 7, 2010.
Captured by the HiRISE camera aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on March 1, the bold stripes of the various layers make it easy for scientists to gauge just how far the crust has been offset at each fault.