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June's Stellar Space Pictures

June's Stellar Space Pictures

Gaze upon halos of light, streams of interstellar gas, and nearby Earthlike planets this month.

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An artist's impression of the interstellar gas surrounding the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way.

Image credits:

NRAO/AUI/NSF; S. Dagnello

Friday, June 28, 2019 - 15:45

Abigail Malate, Staff Illustrator

(Inside Science) -- In various breakthroughs this month, astronomers got first glances at gases and galaxies in the early universe. They imaged interstellar gas surrounding our local supermassive black hole, gas streaming between stars in planet formation, and gases forming the oldest galaxy merger in the universe. Through illustrations, telescope images and 3D renderings, these pictures reveal structures that help us understand how planets and galaxies alike form.

Slideshow

The MUSE instrument on the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope in Chile zoomed in on this almost-complete ring of pink light shining from the distant universe. The blushing halo reveals neutral hydrogen gas encircling a distant galaxy, telling a story of how the galaxy's structure formed. (ESO/NASA/ESA/A. Claeyssens)

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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.