MacKenzie Kaelin

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The Fox Fur Nebula from CFHT. This interstellar beast is formed of cosmic dust and gas interacting with the energetic light and winds from hot young stars. The shape, visual texture, and color, combine to give the region the popular name Fox Fur Nebula. The characteristic blue glow on the left is dust reflecting light from the bright star S Mon, just beyond the left edge of the image. Mottled pink and brown areas are a combination of the cosmic dust and reddish emission from ionized hydrogen gas. S Mon is part of a young open cluster of stars, NGC 2264, located about 2,500 light years away toward the constellation of Monoceros, just north of the Cone Nebula. (Image Credit & Copyright: Jean-Charles Cuillandre (CFHT) & Giovanni Anselmi (Coelum Astronomia), Hawaiian Starlight)

Before drifting off to sleep on Saturday, Sept. 5, astronaut Scott Kelly (@stationcdrkelly) aboard the International Space Station posted this image and wrote, "#goodnight #Earth! Make me proud and I'll try and do the same. #YearInSpace." Kelly is living and working off the Earth, for the Earth aboard the station for a yearlong mission. Traveling the world about 250 miles above the Earth, and at 17,500 mph, he circumnavigates the globe more than a dozen times a day. Image Credit

The rich patchwork of gas clouds in this image make up part of a huge stellar nursery nicknamed the Prawn Nebula (also known as Gum 56 and IC 4628). Taken using the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at the La Silla Observatory in Chile, this may well be one of the best pictures ever taken of this object. It shows clumps of hot new-born stars nestled in among the clouds that make up the nebula. (Image Credit & Copyright: ESO)

A jewel of the southern sky, the Great Carina Nebula, also known as NGC 3372, spans over 300 light-years, one of our galaxy's largest star forming regions. Like the smaller, more northerly Great Orion Nebula, the Carina Nebula is easily visible to the unaided eye, though at a distance of 7,500 light-years it is some 5 times farther away. This gorgeous telescopic portrait reveals remarkable details of the region's glowing filaments of interstellar gas and obscuring cosmic dust clouds. Wider than the Full Moon in angular size, the field of view stretches over 300 light-years across the nebula. The Carina Nebula is home to young, extremely massive stars, including the still enigmatic variable Eta Carinae, a star with well over 100 times the mass of the Sun. Eta Carinae is the brightest star near the image center, just left of the dusty Keyhole Nebula (NGC 3324). While Eta Carinae itself maybe on the verge of a supernova explosion, X-ray images indicate that the Great Carina Nebula has been a veritable supernova factory. (Image Credit & Copyright: ESO. VPHAS+ Consortium/Cambridge Astronomical Survey Unit)

"If there were no night, we would not appreciate the day, nor could we see the stars and the vastness of the heavens. We must partake of the bitter with the sweet. There is a divine purpose in the adversities we encounter every day. They prepare, they purge, they purify, and thus they bless." - James E. Faust. (Image Credit & Copyright: NGC 6556 + IC1274/IC1275 + IC4685 in Sagittarius, Gerhard Bachmayer)

This is the expanding remains of a massive star that exploded about 8,000 years ago. Called the Veil Nebula, the debris is one of the best-known supernova remnants, deriving its name from its delicate, draped filamentary structures. 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. This view is a mosaic of six pictures from our Hubble Space Telescope of a small area roughly two light-years across, covering only a tiny fraction of the nebula's vast structure. This close-up look unveils wisps of gas, which are all that remain of what was once a star 20 times more massive than our sun. The fast-moving blast wave from the ancient explosion is plowing into a wall of cool, denser interstellar gas, emitting light. The nebula lies along the edge of a large bubble of low-density gas that was blown into space by the dying star prior to its self-detonation. Image Credit: NASA/ESA/Hubble Heritage Team #nasa #hubble #hst #hubble25 #space #astronomy #nebular #star #nasabeyond #science

Before drifting off to tonight, astronaut Scott Kelly (@stationcdrkelly) aboard the International Space Station posted this image and wrote, "Day 179. The #Nile at night is a beautiful sight for these sore eyes. Good night from @ISS! #YearInSpace." Kelly is living and working off the Earth, for the Earth aboard the station for a yearlong mission. Traveling the world about 250 miles above the Earth, and at 17,500 mph, he circumnavigates the globe more than a dozen times a day. Image Credit

LDN 988 and Friends. Stars are forming in dark, dusty molecular cloud LDN 988. Seen near picture center some 2,000 light-years distant, LDN 988 and other nearby dark nebulae were cataloged by Beverly T. Lynds in 1962 using Palomar Observatory Sky Survey plates. Narrowband and near-infrared explorations of the dark nebula reveal energetic shocks and outflows light-years across associated with dozens of newborn stars. But in this sharp optical telescopic view, the irregular outlines of LDN 988 and friends look like dancing stick figures eclipsing the rich starfields of the constellation Cygnus. From dark sites the region can be identified by eye alone. It's part of the Great Rift of dark clouds along the plane of the Milky Way galaxy known as the Northern Coalsack. (Image Credit & Copyright: Rafael Rodríguez Morales / APOD)

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Unicorns: a scientific explanation.