THE ROTTEN EGG NEBULA MAKES A STANKY MESS

See this week’s helping of the best the universe has to offer, including rotten eggs, cat paws and lobster.

Photography: NASA, ESO & ESA

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The Cat’s Paw (upper right) and the Lobster (lower left) are both nebulas, areas where actively forming stars make surrounding hydrogen gas glow red.

Photography: ESO

This image shows the Calabash Nebula transforming from a red giant into a planetary nebula, as it blows outer layers of dust and gas into space at close to 620,000 miles per hour. Calabash is also known as the Rotten Egg Nebula, because of its high sulphur contents.

Photography: ESA

This image of Jupiter’s polar haze is a composite of four images taken through red, green, blue and methane filters, highlighting clouds and high altitude hazes. Since Jupiter’s Great Red Spot has high altitude, it’s bright in this composite.

Photography: NASA

This image shows Saturn’s rings at a level twice as detailed as the regions have been seen before, illuminating small details like straw (caused by clumping ring particles) and propellers (caused by embedded moonlets).

Photography: NASA

The rocky material that forms this crater rim, originally below the surface of Mars, was ejected onto the planet’s surface by a meteorite, asteroid or comet.

Photography: NASA

The Cat’s Paw and Lobster nebulae show regions where stars are actively forming. Their heat causes surrounding hydrogen clouds to glow red, contrasting with dark dust clouds.

Photography: ESO

These dune fields around the north polar cap of Mars may be formed by dusty ice layers, eroded by fierce polar winds.

Photography: NASA