Shaking a stick at all those lovely images

An amazing volcanic plume on Io, taken by the New Horizons probe during its flyby of Jupiter. Tvashtar--the volcano responsile for this beaut--is your standard sulfuric volcano, and the plume is about 290 km long. Two other plumes are visible.

And here we have a nice shot of an Einstein Cross. A quasar (QSO2237+0305) is behind a spiral galaxy the gravity of which bends its light, making it appear in four different places! A gravitational funhouse mirror. Both objects are quite far, although the galaxy is much closer to us than the quasar: redshift 0.04 vs 1.7.

Some wonderful space art, including extraterrestrial planets (about which, more later), lives at Nova Celestia.

I am going to attempt to produce one little column on the current work in my astronomical pet interests--which as of now include the search for terrestrial extrasolar planets and astrobiology--once a week, probably on Monday or Tuesday. Hold me to it. Meanwhile, I should really sleep.

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