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Astronomy Award

As some know, many of the sun's features only become apparent during a total eclipse, when the Moon blocks the dazzlingly bright star from our view. This image by Tun Tezel depicts the sun's atmosphere as a diffuse white haze, and further in the sun's atmosphere appears in the red light of hydrogen. This photo captured the moment when a tiny part of the sun's disc shone out between the mountains on the edge of the moon's disc, creating a dazzling effect known as the "diamond ring." Continue reading for more.

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Stargazing

Stargazing is usually associated with viewing the night sky when most celestial objects and events are visible, but sometimes amateur astronomers also operate during the day for events such as sunspots and solar eclipses. Common tools for stargazing include portable telescopes and binoculars. People have studied the sky throughout history in an amateur framework, without any formal method of funding. It is only within about the past century, however, that amateur astronomy has become an activity clearly distinguished from professional astronomy, and other related activities. Continue reading to see some of the best places to stargaze in the US.

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Black Hole Planet

The defining feature of a black hole is the appearance of an event horizon - a boundary in spacetime through which matter and light can only pass inward towards the mass of the black hole. Nothing, not even light, can escape from inside the event horizon. The shape of the event horizon of a black hole is always approximately spherical. Click here to view the first image in this week's funny work pictures gallery. Continue reading for a viral video of the best little dancer you will see this week.

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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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The Andromeda Galaxy is the nearest major galaxy to our own Milky Way Galaxy. Together, these two galaxies dominate the Local Group of galaxies. The diffuse light from Andromeda is caused by the hundreds of billions of stars that compose it. The several distinct stars that surround Andromeda's image are actually stars in our Galaxy that are well in front of the background object. Andromeda is frequently referred to as M31 since it is the 31st object on Messier's list of diffuse sky objects. Continue reading for more.

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