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European Space Agency's Envisat Earth observation satellite.


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Envisat Earth observation satellite.
European Space Agency's Envisat Earth observation satellite.

Atacama Desert From Space.

This is a satellite photograph of one of the driest places on Earth: Chile's Atacama Desert, which only sees rain two to four times a century. The picture was taken by the European Space Agency's Envisat Earth observation satellite, using its Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS). There are even some spots in the desert where rainfall has never been recorded. Plants and animals and even people are forced to harvest water from the air itself, which sometimes forms a light fog. The European Southern Observatory is located in this desert, because of its high altitude and clear, dry air.

Tiny Mimas, Huge Saturn.

This image of Saturn and its tiny Moon Mimas was taken on Sept. 25, 2004 by NASA's Cassini spacecraft when it was 7.8 million kilometers (4.8 million miles) from the planet. The photo shows a huge white storm which has formed in a band of clouds.

It's a Galaxy Eat Galaxy Universe.

Japanese researchers using the Subaru telescope have found a large Galaxy caught in the act of consuming a smaller companion galaxy. It's a messy eater; there's a wispy trail of stars over 500,000 light-years long, which is the longest Astronomers have ever seen. Examples of this kind of galactic destruction are hard to find because the consumed are usually dim dwarf galaxies. We have only indirect evidence of digested Galaxies in our own Milky Way, like groups of stars travelling in an unusual trajectory.

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