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Astronaut Charles Duke with Lunar Rover on Moon
Astronaut Charles Duke with Lunar Rover on Moon
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1902 Wright Brothers' Glider Tests
1902 Wright Brothers' Glider Tests
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Galileo Images the Moon
Galileo Images the Moon
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Apollo 13
Apollo 13
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Wilber and Orville Wright with Flyer II at Huffman Prairie
Wilber and Orville Wright with Flyer II at Huffman Prairie
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A Grazing Encounter Between Two Spiral Galaxies
A Grazing Encounter Between Two Spiral Galaxies
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A Cosmic Magnifying Glass
A Cosmic Magnifying Glass
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Skylab 3 Close-Up
Skylab 3 Close-Up
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The Wright Brothers First Heavier-than-air Flight
The Wright Brothers First Heavier-than-air Flight
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Hubble Reopens Eye on the Universe
Hubble Reopens Eye on the Universe
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A Swarm of Ancient Stars
A Swarm of Ancient Stars
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STS-45 Launch
STS-45 Launch
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A Grazing Encounter Between Two Spiral Galaxies Featured Image

A Grazing Encounter Between Two Spiral Galaxies

The larger and more massive galaxy is cataloged as NGC 2207 (on the left in the Hubble Heritage image), and the smaller one on the right is IC 2163. Strong tidal forces from NGC 2207 have distorted the shape of IC 2163, flinging out stars and gas into long streamers stretching out a hundred thousand light-years toward the right-hand edge of the image. Computer simulations, carried out by a team led by Bruce and Debra Elmegreen, demonstrate the leisurely timescale over which galactic collisions occur. In addition to the Hubble images, measurements made with the National Science Foundation's Very Large Array Radio Telescope in New Mexico reveal the motions of the galaxies and aid the reconstruction of the collision. The calculations indicate that IC 2163 is swinging past NGC 2207 in a counterclockwise direction, having made its closest approach 40 million years ago. However, IC 2163 does not have sufficient energy to escape from the gravitational pull of NGC 2207, and is destined to be pulled back and swing past the larger galaxy again in the future. The high resolution of the Hubble telescope image reveals dust lanes in the spiral arms of NGC 2207, clearly silhouetted against IC 2163, which is in the background. Hubble also reveals a series of parallel dust filaments extending like fine brush strokes along the tidally stretched material on the right-hand side. The large concentrations of gas and dust in both galaxies may well erupt into regions of active star formation in the near future. Trapped in their mutual orbit around each other, these two galaxies will continue to distort and disrupt each other. Eventually, billions of years from now, they will merge into a single, more massive galaxy. It is believed that many present-day galaxies, including the Milky Way, were assembled from a similar process of coalescence of smaller galaxies occurring over billions of years. This image was created from 3 separate pointings of Hubble. The Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 data sets were obtained by Debra Meloy Elmegreen (Vassar College), Bruce G. Elmegreen (IBM Research Division), Michele Kaufman (Ohio State U.), Elias Brinks (Universidad de Guanajuato, Mexico), Curt Struck (Iowa State University), Magnus Thomasson (Onsala Space Obs., Sweden), Maria Sundin (Goteborg University, Sweden), and Mario Klaric (Columbia, South Carolina).

© NASA

Curtiss Bleeker Helicopter
Curtiss Bleeker Helicopter
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Light and Shadow in the Carina Nebula
Light and Shadow in the Carina Nebula
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The Sounds of Earth Record Cover
The Sounds of Earth Record Cover
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Backpacking
Backpacking
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Orville Wrights Test His Gilder at Kitty Hawk, NC
Orville Wrights Test His Gilder at Kitty Hawk, NC
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First Picture of the Earth and Moon in a Single Frame
First Picture of the Earth and Moon in a Single Frame
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EVAtion
EVAtion
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Aldrin Looks Back at Tranquility Base
Aldrin Looks Back at Tranquility Base
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SR-71 Over Snow Capped Mountains
SR-71 Over Snow Capped Mountains
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Apollo 11 Launch
Apollo 11 Launch
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Giant Twisters in the Lagoon Nebula
Giant Twisters in the Lagoon Nebula
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Earthrise - Apollo 8
Earthrise - Apollo 8
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Light and Shadow in the Carina Nebula Featured Image

Light and Shadow in the Carina Nebula

Previously unseen details of a mysterious, complex structure within the Carina Nebula (NGC 3372) are revealed by this image of the "Keyhole Nebula, " obtained with NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. The picture is a montage assembled from four different April 1999 telescope pointings with Hubble's Wide Field Planetary Camera 2, which used six different color filters. The picture is dominated by a large, approximately circular feature, which is part of the Keyhole Nebula, named in the 19th century by Sir John Herschel. This region, about 8000 light-years from Earth, is located adjacent to the famous explosive variable star Eta Carinae, which lies just outside the field of view toward the upper right. The high resolution of the Hubble images reveals the relative three- dimensional locations of many of these features, as well as showing numerous small dark globules that may be in the process of collapsing to form new stars. Two striking large, sharp-edged dust clouds are located near the bottom center and upper left edges of the image. The former is immersed within the ring and the latter is just outside the ring. The pronounced pillars and knobs of the upper left cloud appear to point toward a luminous, massive star located just outside the field further toward the upper left, which may be responsible for illuminating and sculpting them by means of its high-energy radiation and stellar wind of high-velocity ejected material. These large dark clouds may eventually evaporate, or if there are sufficiently dense condensations within them, give birth to small star clusters. The Carina Nebula, with an overall diameter of more than 200 light- years, is one of the outstanding features of the Southern Hemisphere portion of the Milky Way. The diameter of the Keyhole ring structure shown here is about 7 light-years. These data were collected by the Hubble Heritage Team and Nolan R. Walborn (STScI), Rodolfo H. Barba' (La Plata Observatory, Argentina), and Adeline Caulet (France).

© NASA

Buzz Aldrin on the Moon
Buzz Aldrin on the Moon
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The Earth and Moon
The Earth and Moon
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The Orion Nebula
The Orion Nebula
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Neil Armstrong On The Moon
Neil Armstrong On The Moon
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Magnificant Details in a Dusty Spiral Galaxy
Magnificant Details in a Dusty Spiral Galaxy
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Cygnus Loop Supernova Blast Wave
Cygnus Loop Supernova Blast Wave
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Fish-Eye View of Atlantis
Fish-Eye View of Atlantis
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Viking 1 Launch
Viking 1 Launch
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STS-27, Orbiter Atlantis, Liftoff
STS-27, Orbiter Atlantis, Liftoff
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The One-Inch Model Airplane
The One-Inch Model Airplane
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Apollo 11 bootprint
Apollo 11 bootprint
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