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Week's Best Space Pictures: Dying Star Shoots Gleaming Jets
By Michael Greshko,
National Geographic News, 12 February 2016.

Feed your need for heavenly views of the universe with our picks of the week's most awe-inspiring space pictures. This week, matter warps space and time to form useful lenses, a dying star's gaseous shroud glitters, and satellites show off Mars' sandblasted bluffs.

1. A Star is Born

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The newborn star HD 97300 lights up surrounding clouds of dust in this picture from the European Southern Observatory. The star is among the most massive and brightest in the Chamaeleon Complex, a nebula some 500 light-years away.

2. Celestial Lens

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According to Einstein, matter warps the spacetime around it, bending light. Hubble's Frontier Fields project leverages this phenomenon by using galaxy clusters as giant lenses, allowing scientists to see deep into the universe's past.

3. Parallel Puffs

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NASA's Aqua satellite spots long parallel bands of cumulus clouds known as cloud streets, above the western Pacific Ocean's Sea of Okhotsk. Below the clouds lie the Japanese island Hokkaido (lower left) and Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula (upper right).

4. Blasted Bluff

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Over time, Martian winds carrying small, abrasive particles have steadily sandblasted bedrock, sometimes leaving behind protrusions called yardangs, captured here by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

5. Hennie and the Jets

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Hubble spots Hen 2-437, a dying star in the Milky Way that has ejected its outer layers, seen here in false color as two blue jets. It was discovered in 1946 by astronomer Rudolph Minkowski, a National Geographic Society grantee.

[Source: National Geographic News. Edited. Some links added.]

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