Illustration of the constellation of Orion, one of the most conspicuous in the night sky. Situated on the celestial equator, Orion is visible from most parts of the world.
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- Illustration of one of the Voyager probes passing an earthlike planet orbiting a binary star system in the distant future. A nebula is seen in the background. The two Voyager probes were launched in the late 1970s. Voyager 1 has now passed into interstellar space - beyond the influence of the Sun's magnetic field - and Voyager 2 is set to do so in the early 2020s.
- Galaxy, illustration.
- An artist's impression of the Milky Way galaxy colliding with Andromeda. Our galaxy, the Milky Way, is moving towards the Andromeda galaxy. Astronomers predict that in about 4 billion years, the two galaxies will collide and begin to merge. The Solar System's fate is uncertain. It might end up in the final, larger galaxy, orbiting further from the core than it does now, or it might be ejected into
- Artwork of a young girl looking through a telescope, seen in silhouette a starry night. The girl is using a reflecting telescope. In the sky, the constellation of Orion can be seen.
- Black hole, illustration. A black hole is an object so compact (usually a collapsed star) that nothing can escape its gravitational pull. Not even light. This black hole is surrounded by a superheated disc of material, an accretion disc, making it visible. The massive gravity is also pulling in a nearby gas cloud, top right.
- Illustration comparing the planets of the Solar System and the Sun on the same scale. The planets are shown to scale relative to each other but their distances are not. From left to right the bodies are: the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.
- Illustration of a brown dwarf in the Pleiades star cluster. Pleiades (or Seven Sisters) is a young open cluster of several dozen hot, middle-aged stars. It is about 130 parsecs away in Taurus. In the 1990s, astronomers discovered several brown dwarfs within the cluster, as illustrated in this picture. Brown dwarfs are objects which form like stars, but which do not fuse hydrogen into helium like t
- Illustration of a coronal mass ejection (CME) emanating from the Sun. These events are powerful releases of solar charged particles (plasma) and magnetic field, travelling on the solar wind. When a CME hits Earth, it can cause a geomagnetic storm which disrupts the planet's magnetosphere, our radio transmissions and electrical power lines. They can damage artificial satellites and cause long-lasti
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- Computer illustration showing a new pulsar just a fraction of a second after it was formed from the merger of two neutron stars. A disc of material is seen around the star, a remnant from the merging process. Eventually it will clear. A jet is seen emanating from the neutron star's magnetic poles.
- Alien planet and stars, illustration.
- Artwork of a cataclysmic binary (or variable) star seen from a cave on a nearby planet.
- Illustration of a binary star on the outskirts of a globular cluster. Recent studies of such binaries by astronomers at Warwick University, UK, suggest that globular clusters could be 4 billion years younger than thought.
- Illustration of the view from an exomoon orbiting a ringed exoplanet in a polar orbit. The exomoon is depicted as rocky, with large stalagmite-type formations on its surface. Its parent is a gas giant with a series of bright rings, similar to Saturn's, with the rings seen face-on in this depiction.
- A black hole is an object so compact -- usually a collapsed star -- that nothing can escape its gravitational pull. Not even light. In this image, we can see a black hole, but only because it is surrounded by a superheated disc of material, an accretion disc.
- Artist's impression of an X-ray binary. These binary star systems comprise a compact star (neutron star or, as here, a black hole) which is in orbit about a larger companion (in this case, a blue giant). The compact star distorts the companion and pulls gas from its atmosphere. The gas swirls around the compact object forming an accretion disc. Particle jets are sometimes emitted from the centre o
- Artwork of the dark exoplanet CVSO 30 c. This is one of two known gas planets around the very young T Tauri star called CVSO 30, situated 1200 light-years away in the constellation of Orion. At just 2.5 million years old, this star is but a toddler. The innermost planet (not depicted) orbits the star in a mere 11 hours. However, the outermost one, shown here, is so far out â€“ at 660 astronom