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17 Space Pictures That Will Actually Make You Think

The universe might be big and wonderful and scary, but that doesn't mean we can't understand it.

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7. This is what it looks like when planets form around a star.

ALMA (NRAO/ESO/NAOJ); C. Brogan, B. Saxton (NRAO/AUI/NSF)

The orange disk that surrounds the star it is made up of dust and gas. The dark bands in the image are where the gas and dust has been swept up by newly formed planet.

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10. And that tiny dot just inside Saturn's second ring is Earth.

NASA/JPL

To paraphrase Carl Sagan, everyone you've ever loved or hated or even just met once and have no strong opinion on lives on those few pixels.

11. This is the sharpest image the Hubble Space Telescope has ever taken.

NASA, ESA, J. Dalcanton, http://B.F. Williams, and http://L.C. Johnson (University of Washington), the PHAT team, and R. Gendler

It's part of our neighbour the Andromeda galaxy. The full size version contains more than a 100 million stars.

12. This is what it looks like when a small galaxy passes behind a bigger spiral one.

NASA, ESA, S. Beckwith (STScI), and The Hubble Heritage Team STScI/AURA) / Via spacetelescope.org

The encounter has been going on for hundred of million years already.

13. This is what it looks like when two spiral galaxies collide.

NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration

Consider it a bit of a preview for when our galaxy the Milky Way merges with our neighbouring galaxy Andromeda in billions of years.

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15. There's a volcanic region on Jupiter's moon Io and this is what it looks like when it erupts.

NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute / Via photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov

This five-frame sequence was taken over eight minutes.

16. This is a tiny patch of the sky, and every speck of light in this image is a galaxy.

NASA, ESA, G. Illingworth, D. Magee, and P. Oesch (University of California, Santa Cruz), R. Bouwens (Leiden University), and the HUDF09 Team / Via hubblesite.org

(Apart from a few, which are stars – you can tell those apart because there are little spikes of light radiating from them.)

17. This is what a spiral galaxy looks like side on.

NASA/ESA / spacetelescope.org / spacetelescope.org

In visible light and in infrared, for good measure. It's called the sombrero galaxy, for obvious reasons.

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