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Article of the Month: Updated September 12, 2016

A possible super-Earth/mini-Neptune world hundreds of times more distant than Earth is from the Sun.

Galaxy cluster Abell S1063 (left) as imaged with the Hubble Space Telescope as part of the Frontier Fields program. The distorted images of the background galaxies are a consequence of the warped space dues to Einstein's general relativity; the parallel field (right) shows no such effects. Image credit: NASA, ESA and Jennifer Lotz (STScI)





One Incredible Galaxy Cluster Yields Two Types of Gravitational Lenses

There is this great idea that if you look hard enough and long enough at any region of space, your line of sight will eventually run into a luminous object: a star, a galaxy or a cluster of galaxies. In reality, the universe is finite in age, so this isn't quite the case. There are objects that emit light from the past 13.7 billion years—99 percent of the age of the universe—but none before that. Even in theory, there are no stars or galaxies to see beyond that time, as light is limited by the amount of time it has to travel. But with the advent of large, powerful space telescopes that can collect data for the equivalent of millions of seconds of observing time, in both visible light and infrared wavelengths, we can see nearly to the edge of all that's accessible to us.



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This article is provided by NASA Space Place. With articles, activities, crafts, games, and lesson plans, NASA Space Place encourages everyone to get excited about science and technology. Visit spaceplace.nasa.gov to explore space and Earth science!





Previous month's article:

Is there a super-Earth in the Solar System out beyond Neptune?

When the advent of large telescopes brought us the discoveries of Uranus and then Neptune, they also brought the great hope of a Solar System even richer in terms of large, massive worlds. While the asteroid belt and the Kuiper belt were each found to possess a large number of substantial icy-and-rocky worlds, none of them approached even Earth in size or mass, much less the true giant worlds. Then, the discovery of Sedna in 2003 turned out to be even more groundbreaking than astronomers realized.

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Educator Newsletter

You are also welcome to use our bimonthly Educator Newsletter in your publication. It features new content on NASA Space Place as well as resources for teachers, downloads, and notable calendar days in science history.






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Space Place logo. Click here to download 1-inch version.

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Space Place logo, high resolution version. Click here to download.

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Play and learn

Simple and fun learning activities to share with children.

The Space Place Experiment Center—Students can conduct real life science experiments and learn how the world works.

Make a Pinwheel Galaxy pinwheel—Make a pinwheel that looks just like M101, the pinwheel galaxy.

Make a Fan with Earth’s Layers—To remember that Earth is much more than just the surface we see every day, make this Earth layer fan.



Cool stuff to download

article last updated September 12, 2016
Lo sentimos, este artículo no está disponible en Español.
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