NASA telescopes watch cosmic violence, mysteries unravel

NASA images from its Kepler, Hubble, Spitzer, Chandra telescopes highlight space show

A wisp of a galaxy: NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope captured what NASA said was an action-packed picture of the nearby Small Magellanic Cloud, a small galaxy that looks like a wispy cloud when seen from Earth. NASA is interested in the Small Magellanic Cloud not only because it is so close and compact, but also because it is very similar to young galaxies thought to populate the universe billions of years ago. The Small Magellanic Cloud has only one-fifth the amount of heavier elements, such as carbon, contained in the Milky Way, which means that its stars haven't been around long enough to pump large amounts of these elements back into their environment. Such elements were necessary for life to form in our solar system, NASA stated.

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