These photos of a hexagon on Saturn are totally real

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The Cassini spacecraft has been exploring Saturn, its moons and its rings for more than 10 years, but this week the daring probe did something special. 

On Sunday, Cassini dove just outside Saturn’s main rings as part of its latest mission, which will take it on 20 week-long orbits around the planet

About two days before that dive, Cassini snapped a series of photos showing off a view of Saturn’s strange and beautiful hexagonal weather system in the planet’s northern hemisphere. 

The hexagon-shaped jet stream surrounds a giant storm in Saturn’s north pole, but this isn’t the first time the wild weather has been spotted by Cassini.  Read more…

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The first photo from a new Earth-gazing satellite is insanely detailed

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A brand new satellite orbiting hundreds of miles above Earth’s surface has just opened its eyes.

DigitalGlobe released the first public photo taken by the company’s Earth-gazing WorldView-4 satellite, and it’s a beauty. 

The new image, taken on Nov. 26 and unveiled last week, shows Tokyo, Japan’s Yoyogi National Gymnasium, one of the sites of the 1964 Olympics. 

WorldView-4 is the latest advanced satellite in a fleet of five DigitalGlobe spacecraft designed to beam high-resolution images of various places on Earth back to people on the ground.  Read more…

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The sun is your dad

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The sun looks like a proud, happy dad with a huge smile in new photos beamed back to Earth by a sun-staring spacecraft. 

The new images — taken by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory — show various features of the sun coincidentally coming together to look just like a face with a crooked smile and male-patterned baldness.

All in all, this makes the sun bear a striking resemblance to Frasier Crane or perhaps your father.

The smiley sun photo was first pointed out on Twitter by solar scientist Karl Battams after the Solar Dynamics Observatory’s website was updated with the new photos taken today. Read more…

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Mars is looking good in first photos sent home by new orbiter

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A new satellite orbiting Mars just sent home some amazing new images of the red planet’s crags and cliffs. 

The Trace Gas Orbiter — part of the joint ExoMars mission run by the European Space Agency (ESA) and Russia — beamed back the images gathered on Nov. 22, during the spacecraft’s first close flyby of the world.

Some of the new photos — spliced together in video form — show the details of the Martian surface when the spacecraft was only 235 kilometers (about 146 miles) from the planet’s surface. Others were taken when the spacecraft was flying thousands of kilometers from Mars. Read more…

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