NASA: Spectacular Images from Space – Galaxy Encounter, Flooding Thailand, and 12-Billion-Year-Old Stars

This NASA MODIS Rapid Response Team image obtained November 4, 2011 shows dust as it blew over the Gulf of Alaska in early November 2011. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this natural-color image on November 2, 2011. Blowing toward the south-southwest, the dust plume remains discernible for roughly 100 kilometers (60 miles). The dust emerges from the Copper River Valley, which zigzags through the glacier-rich Chugach Mountains. The slow movement of glaciers over bedrock grinds the rock into glacial flour. This fine sediment is easily lofted into the air by winds blowing through mountain valleys. This image also shows swirls of iridescent green in the waters along the shore. The bright green probably results from sediment and phytoplankton. Dust can fertilize phytoplankton, prompting big blooms, but the microscopic organisms also thrive in high-latitude seas especially near coastlines, without dust. (Jeff Schmaltz / NASA via AFP – Getty Images)

Image shows the oldest burned-out stars in our Milky Way Galaxy. (NASA)

Artist’s concept illustrates a young, red dwarf star surrounded by three planets. (NASA)

In Thailand, about one third of all provinces are affected. The image from the NASA’s Terra Spacecraft Shows Thailand Flooding. (NASA)

In visible light, the region resembles North America, but in this image infrared view from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, the continent disappears. (NASA)

An infrared mosaic image represents the sharpest survey of the Galactic Center to date. (NASA)

The collision between the two parent galaxies producing a shockwave effect. (NASA)

Image shows molecular cloud Cepheus B, located in our galaxy about 2,400 light years from the Earth. (NASA)

Image showing stellar infants that are lost behind dark clouds when viewed in visible light. (NASA)

The distorted shapes in the cluster are distant galaxies from which the light is bent by the gravitational pull of an invisible material called dark matter within the cluster of galaxies. (NASA)

The Carina Nebula is a star-forming region in the Sagittarius-Carina arm of the Milky Way that is 7,500 light years from Earth and the Chandra X-Ray Observatory has detected more than 14,000 stars in the region. (NASA)

Image shows what lies near the sword of the constellation Orion — an active stellar nursery containing thousands of young stars and developing protostars. (NASA)

Infrared images from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope and the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, when combined shows light from both the remnant itself and unrelated background light from our Milky Way galaxy. (NASA)

Thousands of sparkling young stars nestled within the giant nebula NGC 3603. (NASA)

An arc of light illuminates the pre-dawn sky at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., as a Delta II rocket launches with the NPOESS Preparatory Project (NPP) spacecraft payload. (NASA)

Image shows flows that appear in spring and summer on a slope inside Mars’ Newton Crater. (NASA)

NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations. Various translation techniques are being tested during this 13-day NEEMO mission. (NASA)

Astronaut Alan L. Bean, Lunar Module pilot, pauses near a tool carrier during the Apollo 12 spacewalk on the moon’s surface. Commander Charles Conrad, Jr., who took the black-and-white photo, is reflected in Bean’s helmet visor. (NASA)

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