Astronomy

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two black holes merging

DUOS’ DANCE   Mergers of two pairs of black holes (illustrated) showcase ability of gravitational waves as a new tool for understanding the universe. LIGO detected gravitational waves from both mergers shown, but at different times and in different parts of the sky. 

Altair

STAR SPIN  Rapidly twirling stars such as Altair (shown; interferometer image, left) have an equatorial bulge that makes them emit more light from their poles than their equator, which could create strange seasons on any orbiting planets.

Plot showing orbits of spacecraft that have visited Jupiter

JAUNTS TO JUPITER  For over four decades, the paths of eight spacecraft have swooped past and looped around the planet Jupiter. This summer NASA’s Juno mission will add a ninth trajectory. The plot shows the view looking down on Jupiter's north pole.

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