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A light year is an incredible 9.5 trillion km! Bite-sized, mind blowing space facts about the Universe and the cosmos. Whether you're new to astronomy / astrophysics or not, check us out @ https://www.instagram.com/thespacekiosk/ Image: NASA

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This NASA image shows NGC 5194. M51's stretch of over 60,000 light-years dwarf its companion galaxy, NGC 5195. Credit: Hubble Space Telescope, NASA.

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This planetary nebula, Mz3, is being cast off by a star similar to our Sun. The 1000-kilometer per second speed of the expelled gas, the light-year long length of the structure, and the magnetism of the star visible at the nebula's center, all imply Mz3 is hiding a second, dimmer star that orbits close in to the bright star. A competing hypothesis holds that the central star's own spin and magnetic field are channeling the gas. (ESA, NASA's Hubble, JPL-CalTech)

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'Rogue planet' spotted 100 light-years away

Astronomers have spotted a "rogue planet" - wandering the cosmos without a star to orbit - 100 light-years away. (via BBC News; image via ESO)

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This Hubble Space Telescope (HST) image reveals a pair of one-half light-year long interstellar 'twisters' - eerie funnels and twisted-rope structures - in the heart of the Lagoon Nebula (Messier 8) which lies 5,000 light-years away in the direction of the constellation Sagittarius.

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Nasa marks 50 years of space photography - in pictures

A dying star throws a cosmic tantrum in this combined image from Nasa's Spitzer Space Telescope and the Galaxy Evolution Explorer. The star's dusty outer layers are unraveling into space, glowing from the intense ultraviolet radiation being pumped out by the hot stellar core. This object, called the Helix nebula, lies 650 light years away in the constellation of Aquarius

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Located about 130 million light-years away, NGC 4650A is one of only 100 known polar-ring galaxies.

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"There are so many chances, so many worlds, pouring down on us. Like most people I take no notice and let them flow away, aeons breaking back into the universes where they were made. We are universes dripping with worlds. All we have to do is choose. " - Jeanette Winterson. Photo: Newly discovered galaxy, SMM J2135-0102

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