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With its huge eyes, comical name and diminutive size, Mark R. Smith’s image of a baby Hawaiian bobtail squid can’t help but raise a smile. A curiously endearing creature, the cephalopod is just 1.5cm across, its mantle cavity bearing more than a passing resemblance to a rather natty shower cap. But it is also a beautiful example of symbiosis – nature’s version of “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine” – for on the underside of the squid is a light organ which houses bioluminescent bacteria. The squid offers the bacteria protection and food, while the bacteria emit a glow – a handy trait that the squid uses to offset its silhouette, helping it to evade predators in the depths below. Mark R. Smith’s entry combines several images of a Hawaiian bobtail squid with different focus lengths to create a final picture with greater depth of field than normal. (Photo by Mark R. Smith/Wellcome Images/Macroscopic Solutions)

With its huge eyes, comical name and diminutive size, Mark R. Smith’s image of a baby Hawaiian bobtail squid can’t help but raise a smile. A curiously endearing creature, the cephalopod is just 1.5cm across, its mantle cavity bearing more than a passing resemblance to a rather natty shower cap. But it is also a beautiful example of symbiosis – nature’s version of “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine” – for on the underside of the squid is a light organ which houses bioluminescent bacteria. The squid offers the bacteria protection and food, while the bacteria emit a glow – a handy trait that the squid uses to offset its silhouette, helping it to evade predators in the depths below. Mark R. Smith’s entry combines several images of a Hawaiian bobtail squid with different focus lengths to create a final picture with greater depth of field than normal. (Photo by Mark R. Smith/Wellcome Images/Macroscopic Solutions)
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08 Mar 2017 00:05:00


In this artist's impression supplied by the ESO (European Southern Observatory) on April 25, 2007, the planetary system around the red dwarf, Gliese 581, is pictured showing what astronomers believe is the most earth like planet found outside our solar system to date. Using the ESO 3.6-m telescope in Chile, astronomers have uncovered the planet which could have water running on its surface. The planet orbits the faint star Gliese 581, which is 20.5 light-years away in the constellation Libra. (Photo by ESO via Getty Images)
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12 Apr 2011 11:00:00


An image produced by the Hubble telescope of the perfectly “edge-on” galaxy, or NGC 4013, March 1, 2001. This new Hubble picture reveals, with great detail, huge clouds of dust and gas extending along, as well as far above, the galaxy's main disk. NGC 4013 is a spiral galaxy, similar to the Milky Way, lying some 55 million light-years from Earth in the direction of the constellation Ursa Major. Viewed face-on, it would look like a nearly circular pinwheel, but NGC 4013 happens to be seen edge-on from our vantage point. Even at 55 million light-years, the galaxy is larger than Hubble's field of view, and the image shows only a little more than half of the object, albeit with unprecedented detail. (Photo Courtesy of NASA/Newsmakers)
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28 Feb 2015 22:33:00
Astronomy Photographer Of The Year 2013 Part2

The Royal Observatory just announced its Astronomy Photographer Of The Year 2013 winners. Australian photographer Mark Gee was chosen among a thousand amateur and professional photographers around the globe to win the top title. His work is part of an exhibition of the winning photographers, which opened on Sept. 19 at the Royal Observatory Greenwich. The Royal Observatory shared with us the winners and notable mentions of the competition. Their descriptions of the prizewinners can be found below the images.
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05 Oct 2013 12:23:00
Mr. Zhong Hua, of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, took this image of the peripheral nerves (those outside of the brain) in an 11.5-day-old mouse embryo, magnified five times. (Photo by Zhong Hua)

Mr. Zhong Hua, of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, took this image of the peripheral nerves (those outside of the brain) in an 11.5-day-old mouse embryo, magnified five times. (Photo by Zhong Hua)
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31 Oct 2013 09:39:00
The tempestuous stellar nursery called the Carina Nebula, located 7,500 light-years away from Earth in the southern constellation Carina. (Photo by Reuters/NASA)

The tempestuous stellar nursery called the Carina Nebula, located 7,500 light-years away from Earth in the southern constellation Carina. (Photo by Reuters/NASA)
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22 Oct 2014 13:34:00
A small section of the expanding remains of the Veil Nebula, a massive star that exploded about 8,000 years ago. The entire nebula is 110 light-years across, covering six full moons on the sky as seen from Earth, and resides about 2,100 light-years away in the constellation Cygnus, the Swan. (Photo by Reuters/NASA/ESA/Hubble)

A small section of the expanding remains of the Veil Nebula, a massive star that exploded about 8,000 years ago. The entire nebula is 110 light-years across, covering six full moons on the sky as seen from Earth, and resides about 2,100 light-years away in the constellation Cygnus, the Swan. (Photo by Reuters/NASA/ESA/Hubble)
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29 Feb 2016 11:30:00
An artist's impression of a growing supermassive black hole located in the early Universe is seen in this NASA handout illustration released on June 15, 2011. Using the deepest X-ray image ever taken, astronomers found the first direct evidence that massive black holes were common in the early universe. This discovery from NASA's Chandra X-Ray Observatory shows that very young black holes grew more aggressively than previously thought, in tandem with the growth of their host galaxies. (Photo by Reuters/NASA/Chandra X-Ray Observatory/A.Hobart)

An artist's impression of a growing supermassive black hole located in the early Universe is seen in this NASA handout illustration released on June 15, 2011. Using the deepest X-ray image ever taken, astronomers found the first direct evidence that massive black holes were common in the early universe. This discovery from NASA's Chandra X-Ray Observatory shows that very young black holes grew more aggressively than previously thought, in tandem with the growth of their host galaxies. (Photo by Reuters/NASA/Chandra X-Ray Observatory/A.Hobart)
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11 Feb 2016 12:57:00