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February's Stellar Space Pictures

February's Stellar Space Pictures

Space salt, Martian clay, and unexpected X-rays feature in this month's slideshow.

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A picture taken by the Curiosity rover's Mastcam on February 10th, 2019, showing the clay terrain of "Glen Torridon" on Mars.

Image credits:

NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Thursday, February 28, 2019 - 18:00

Abigail Malate, Staff Illustrator

(Inside Science) -- Astronomers spent February uncovering ordinary things in unexpected places. They found X-ray sources strewn across the Whirlpool galaxy, observed a salty stellar atmosphere light years away, and even snapped pictures of clay as close as Mars. This month's variety of illustrations and photos show that discoveries in astronomy, like the universe, are ever-expanding.

Slideshow

This artist's impression shows protostar MMS5/OMC-3 emitting its stellar birth cry in the form of jets of gas. Two different gas streams eject to the east and the west, with a slow outflow shown in orange and a fast jet in blue. Interestingly, the axes of these streams are misaligned. Observing this ejected mass will help astronomers to better understand how stars accrue mass as they grow larger. (NAOJ)

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Author Bio & Story Archive

Abigail Malate is a graphic designer at the American Institute of Physics, which produces the editorially independent news service Inside Science.