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January's Stellar Space Pictures

January's Stellar Space Pictures

We look back in space-time this month to herald a new year.

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The planetary nebula ESO 577-24, captured in pale hues of pink and blue by ESO's Very Large Telescope.

Image credits:

ESO

Thursday, January 31, 2019 - 16:00

Abigail Malate, Staff Illustrator

(Inside Science) -- To ring in the new year, we've collected pictures that look into stellar history. In some, artists help capture our imaginations through illustrations. In others, spacecraft have snapped pictures of distant worlds. From a fleetingly beautiful dying star, to an ancient quasar from the early universe, these pictures capture the beauty that surrounds us throughout space-time.

Slideshow

This is a photo of the planetary nebula ESO 577-24, captured by ESO's Very Large Telescope. These pale pink and blue stellar tufts are the glowing remnants of a dying star that has thrown off its outer layers, leaving behind a bright dwarf star in its center. Eventually it will expand, cool, and grow dimmer as it slowly fades out of sight. Its light will persist for only around 10,000 years -- an effervescent flash in astronomical terms. (ESO)

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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.