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NASA’s First Stellar Observatory, OAO 2, Turns 50

8 min read

At 3:40 a.m. EST on Saturday, Dec. 7, 1968, just three weeks before the highly anticipated launch of Apollo 8 and the first crewed flight to the Moon, an Atlas-Centaur rocket carrying NASA’s heaviest and most ambitious unpiloted satellite at…

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NASA’s First Stellar Observatory, OAO 2, Turns 50

8 min read

Launched on Dec. 7, 1968, NASA's Orbiting Astronomical Observatory 2, nicknamed Stargazer, was the agency's first successful cosmic explorer — a direct ancestor of Hubble and many other astronomy satellites.

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Intricate Dance of Black Holes

1 min read

This simulation helps explain an odd light signal thought to be coming from a close-knit pair of merging black holes, PG 1302-102, located 3.5 billion light-years away. The close-up view at right shows that the smaller of the two black…

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Funky Light Signal From Colliding Black Holes Explained

5 min read

A dance between two candidate black holes is yielding some high-speed secrets.

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Giant Ring of Black Holes

2 min read

Just in time for Valentine’s Day comes a new image of a ring – not of jewels – but of black holes. This composite image of Arp 147, a pair of interacting galaxies located about 430 million light years from…

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The Possibility of a Brand New World

1 min read

Several of the dwarf galaxies in the Hickson Compact Group 31 are slowly merging. Will the result of these galactic collisions be one big elliptical galaxy? Most assuredly. The pictured galaxies of Hickson Compact Group 31 will pass through and…

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NASA’s SkyView Delivers the Multiwavelength Cosmos

4 min read

Some three million times a year, researchers, educators, and amateur astronomers all over the world ask NASA’s SkyView virtual observatory to serve up images of some interesting corner of the cosmos. Since 1994, this digital archive has made access to…

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A Classic Beauty

2 min read

M51, whose name comes from being the 51st entry in Charles Messier’s catalog, is considered to be a classic example of a spiral galaxy. At a distance of about 30 million light years from Earth, it is also one of…

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Stellar Ripple

1 min read

Approximately 100 million years ago, a smaller galaxy plunged through the heart of the Cartwheel galaxy, creating ripples of brief star formation. In this image, the first ripple appears as an ultraviolet-bright blue outer ring so powerful that it may…

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Orbiting a Red Dwarf Star

1 min read

This artist’s concept of a gas giant planet orbiting a red dwarf K star shows a planet has not been directly imaged, but its presence was detected in 2003 microlensing observations of a field star in our galaxy. Gravitational microlensing…

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