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Stars and Globules in the Running Chicken Nebula : The eggs from this gigantic chicken may form into stars. The featured emission nebula, shown in scientifically assigned colors, is cataloged as IC 2944 but known as the Running Chicken Nebula for the shape of its greater appearance. Seen toward the top of the image are small, dark molecular clouds rich in obscuring cosmic dust. Called Thackeray’s Globules for their discoverer, these “eggs” are potential sites for the gravitational condensation of new stars, although their fates are uncertain as they are also being rapidly eroded away by the intense radiation from nearby young stars. Together with patchy glowing gas and complex regions of reflecting dust, these massive and energetic stars form the open cluster Collinder 249. This gorgeous skyscape spans about 60 light-years at the nebula’s estimated 6,000 light-year distance. via NASA

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What’s Up for December?
View Mars right now, and prepare for 2016, the best Mars viewing year since 2005! Last month early risers watched small, reddish Mars dance with brighter Jupiter and Venus just before sunrise. This month Mars rises earlier-by about 2 a.m. local time. Its reddish color is unmistakable, even without a...
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The Hubble Space telescope just sent back a new photo of the Twin Jet Nebula. Here’s what it looked like in 1997:And now …Whoa. But wait, we also got an updated image of the merging galaxies NGC 6240. What it looked like in 2008:And today:Science, you’re the best. Oh, and the explanation behind thos...
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