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Black Hole Facts

Despite its invisible interior, the presence of a black hole can be inferred through its interaction with other matter and with electromagnetic radiation such as light. Matter falling onto a black hole can form an accretion disk heated by friction, forming some of the brightest objects in the universe. If there are other stars orbiting a black hole, their orbit can be used to determine its mass and location. Such observations can be used to exclude possible alternatives (such as neutron stars). In this way, astronomers have identified numerous stellar black hole candidates in binary systems, and established that the core of the Milky Way contains a supermassive black hole of about 4.3 million solar masses. Continue reading for more.

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Butterfly Nebula

NGC 6302, also known as the Bug Nebula or Butterfly Nebula, is a bipolar planetary nebula in the constellation Scorpius. The structure in the nebula is among the most complex ever observed in planetary nebulae. Due to its composition, when observed with a telescope, its shape reminds many of a butterfly. Continue reading for five things you may not have known about this nebula.

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Supermassive Blackholes

At first glance, these may appear to be a blurry image of random lights, but in reality, what you see are co-orbiting supermassive black holes powering the giant radio source 3C 75. They're surrounded by multi-million degree x-ray emitting gas, and blasting out jets of relativistic particles, separated by 25,000 light-years. Continue reading for a video and more information.

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Sunrise From Space

If you thought sunrises here were beautiful, think again, as the International Space Station crew crew sees, on average, sixteen mind-blowing sunrises and sunsets during a 24-hour orbital period. The time between day and night on the ground is marked by the terminator, a line separating the sunlit side of Earth from the side in darkness. Astronaut Reid Wiseman, who is currently aboard the station, is known for his beautiful shots of Earth, along with his German colleague Alexander Gerst. Continue reading for more.

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Habitable Planets

In astronomy and astrobiology, the Goldilocks zone is the region around a star where a planet with sufficient atmospheric pressure can maintain liquid water on its surface. A potentially habitable planet implies a terrestrial planet within the Goldilocks zone and with conditions roughly comparable to those of Earth. Although only about a dozen planets have been confirmed in the habitable zone, the Kepler spacecraft has identified a further 54 candidates and current estimates indicate that there are "at least 500 million" planets in habitable zones in the Milky Way. Continue reading for more.

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Ever wonder what a sunset looks like on Mars? If so, then look no further than the image above, captured by the Mars exploration rover Spirit from Gusev Crater. You can see a bluish glow - caused by high altitude dust scattering sunlight around to the night side of the planet - in the sky around and above the Sun. Such a glow can remain visible for up to 2-hours after sunset or before sunrise. Large amounts of dust in the atmosphere cause the reddish tint. Continue reading for more.

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NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio decided to take selfies to the next level earlier this year by snapping you the photo you see above during a spacewalk. For the technophiles wondering, astronauts use three Nikon D2Xs cameras to capture the images you see regularly being posted online. One thing you may not know is that the radiation damages pixels on the sensor, and sometimes, the damage is so great that the camera does not make it back to space again. Continue reading for more extreme and dangerous selfies that will make you look twice.

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Whether it be lunar base to UFOs, conspiracy theorists have come up with some insane theories over the years, but this time, a shadowy humanoid-like figure has been spotted on Google Moon. YouTube user Wowforreel's video has been viewed more than two million times in less than a month. For those with Google Earth installed on their computers, type in these coordinates to view it for yourself: 27°34'26.35"N 19°36'4.75"W. Continue reading for the video and more information.

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Astronaut uploaded Oleg Artemyev, currently stationed inside the International Space Station, captured the supermoon passing the Earth. This supermoon is set to accompany this year's Perseid meteor shower, one of the most anticipated events on the skywatcher's calendar. It will be up to 14% bigger and 30% brighter than other full moons during the year, but according to Dr Bill Cooke from Nasa's Meteoroid Environment Office: "Lunar glare wipes out the black-velvety backdrop required to see faint meteors, and sharply reduces counts." Continue reading for more.

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Apollo 11 was the spaceflight that landed the first humans on the Moon, Americans Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, on July 20, 1969, at 20:18 UTC. Armstrong became the first to step onto the lunar surface six hours later on July 21 at 02:56 UTC. Armstrong spent about two and a half hours outside the spacecraft, Aldrin slightly less, and together they collected 47.5 pounds (21.5 kg) of lunar material for return to Earth. Click here to view the first image in this week's WINS gallery. Continue reading for a viral video of a Star Trek fan's $500,000 memorabilia collection.

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