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The sunlight falling on Saturn’s north pole, which is just enough to allow us to image and study the region, does not provide much warmth. In addition to being low in the sky (just like summer at Earth's poles), the sun is nearly ten times as distant from Saturn as from Earth and is only about 1 percent as intense as on Earth. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
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Astronomers took this image as they were observing an extraordinary exploding star – a supernova – near the galaxy’s central yellow core! The star rapidly evolved from a supernova containing very little hydrogen to one that is hydrogen-rich — in just one year. This rarely observed metamorphosis was luminous at high energies and provides unique insight into the poorly understood final phases of massive stars. By studying similar galaxies we hold a scientific mirror up to our own, allowing us to build a better understanding of our galactic environment, which we cannot always observe, and of galactic behavior and evolution as a whole. Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA/D. Milisavljevic (Perdue University)