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Week's Best Space Pictures: Tornadoes Wreak Havoc And Galaxies Shine
By Jane J. Lee,
National Geographic News, 15 May 2015.

Satellites capture a wild week in Earth's atmosphere, and telescopes capture galaxies in all their shining glory in this week's most amazing views from space.

1. Heavenly Host

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Globular cluster 47 Tucanae houses thousands of stars and is the second brightest cluster in the sky after Omega Centauri. This Hubble image shows white dwarf stars, concentrated in the center of the picture, migrating to the cluster's outskirts.

2. Severe Storms

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This week saw wild weather in the U.S. as tornadoes ripped across the Midwest while Tropical Storm Ana made landfall on May 10 near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite captured the action from orbit.

3. Record-Setting Walks

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Three astronauts set a record in 1992 when they performed the first spacewalk involving three astronauts. Their trip also set records for the first mission with four spacewalks and the first to need three rendezvous with an orbiting spacecraft.

4. Moulin Bleu

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A moulin, or hole in an ice sheet that drains away meltwater, takes on an icy blue hue on Greenland's Ryder glacier. NASA researchers have monitored Greenland's ice sheets for years, studying how the landscape changes.

5. Galactic Closeup

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Elliptical galaxy NGC 5128, also known as Centaurus A, shines against a velvety black backdrop. The galaxy is enormous and is the closest such galaxy to Earth, at only 12 million light-years away.

6. Exfoliation

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Ridges called yardangs stripe the surface of Mars in an image taken by an orbiting spacecraft. Blowing sand scours a landscape, wearing away softer material first, producing troughs and valleys between yardangs.

Top image: A deep view of Centaurus A (NGC 5128). Credit: European Southern Observatory.

[Source: National Geographic News. Edited. Top image and some links added.]

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