This panorama is a mosaic of images taken by the Mast Camera (Mastcam) on the NASA Mars rover Curiosity while the rover was working at a site called "Rocknest" in October and November 2012.
The center of the scene, looking eastward from Rocknest, includes the Point Lake area. After the component images for this scene were taken, Curiosity drove 83 feet (25.3 meters) on November 18 from Rocknest to Point Lake. From Point Lake, the Mastcam is taking images for another detailed panoramic view of the area further east to help researchers identify candidate targets for the rover's first drilling into a rock.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems
Explanation from: http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA16453
X-rays from the radio galaxy 3C31 (blue), located 240 million light years from Earth, allow astronomers to probe the density, temperature, and pressure of this galaxy, long known to be a powerful emitter of radio waves. The Chandra data also reveal a jet blasting away from one side of the central galaxy, which also is known as NGC 383. Here, the Chandra X-ray image has been combined with Hubble’s visible light data (yellow).
Image Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Univ. of Bristol/M.Hardcastle et al; Optical: NASA/STScI
Explanation from: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/chandra/3c31.html
A cluster of young stars – about one to two million years old – located about 20,000 light years from Earth. Data in visible light from the Hubble Space Telescope (green and blue) reveal thick clouds where the stars are forming. High-energy radiation in the form of X-rays, however, can penetrate this cosmic haze, and are detected by Chandra (purple).
Image Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO/Sejong Univ./Hur et al; Optical: NASA/STScI
NGC 1222, seen in this image taken with the Wide Field Camera 3 on board the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope (HST), is a galaxy with a rather eventful story to tell. NGC 1222 has been described as a peculiar example of a type of galaxy known as a lenticular galaxy. Typically, this kind of galaxy would present a rather smooth appearance on the sky and would consist mostly of old, reddish stars. A bit dull, perhaps.
But NGC 1222 is certainly not a typical member of its class — and it’s anything but dull. Observations show the characteristic features of very recent star formation on a huge scale — an event known as a starburst. The reason for all this violent activity is caused by the fact that NGC 1222 is not alone. It actually contains three compact regions, each of which appears to be the central nucleus of a galaxy. Astronomers think that NGC 1222 is in the process of swallowing up two much smaller dwarf galaxies that strayed too close to it. It is likely that the encounter was the trigger for the starburst in NGC 1222, bringing in fresh supplies of gas that are now fuelling the burst of star formation.
Although its peculiarities were first seen in photographic images, these were not able to reveal the level of fine detail that can be recovered by Hubble. The image taken by Hubble allows us to see an astonishing amount of structure in this galaxy, emphasising its colourful history. Against the smooth background of old stars that was the original lenticular galaxy, we can clearly see dark filaments of dust and bright filaments of gas, both associated with the powerful star formation process.
Image Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA
Explanation from: https://www.spacetelescope.org/images/potw1645a/
This wide-field view captures the evocative and colourful star formation region of the Seagull Nebula, IC 2177, on the borders of the constellations of Monoceros (The Unicorn) and Canis Major (The Great Dog). This view was created from images forming part of the Digitized Sky Survey 2.
Image Credit: ESO/Digitized Sky Survey 2, Davide De Martin
Astronomers spend their time gazing out into the Universe — and occasionally the Universe seems to peer right back! This image, a composite of data from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) and the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, shows a very rare cosmic sight: a pair of interacting galaxies that have taken on an ocular structure.
As the name suggests, some types of grazing encounters between galaxies create shapes that resemble the human eye. While galaxy collisions of this type are not uncommon, only a few galaxies with eye-like, or ocular, structures have been observed. The paucity of these features is likely due to their very ephemeral nature — ocular structures like these tend to only last for several tens of millions of years, which is merely the blink of an eye in a galactic lifetime.
These two galaxies are named IC 2163 (left) and NGC 2207 (right) — IC 2163 displays the ocular structure in this image. The duo lies approximately 114 million light-years from Earth in the direction of the constellation of Canis Major (The Greater Dog).
The galaxies have brushed past each other — scraping the outer edges of their spiral arms —with IC 2163 passing behind NGC 2207. This glancing collision triggered a tsunami of stars and gas in IC 2163, with material in the outer portions of the disc of the galaxy travelling inwards This colossal wave of material decelerated rapidly moving from the outer to the inner edge of the eyelids and crashed midway through the galaxy’s disc, producing dazzling ribbons of intense star formation and compressed ridges of gas and dust that resemble a pair of cosmic “eyelids”.
Image Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)/M. Kaufman
Explanation from: https://www.eso.org/public/images/potw1645a/