Stars are dazzling in the night sky, but that’s nothing compared to seeing one up close. This week, scientists peered at U Antilae, a red carbon-rich star 900 light years from Earth. Snapped by the European Southern Observatory, this orange beacon is seen in a wide view surrounded by the darkness of space. The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array also photographed U Antiale in high definition, revealing the enormous bubble of material surrounding the star that’s collected for almost 3000 years.
There was a surprising discovery this week as well, when astronomers learned an object they thought was a comet is actually two asteroids orbiting each other with a glowing tail of debris trailing behind. The strange pair was likely one object that broke apart some 5000 years ago and have been dancing around each other ever since.
But, that’s not all. The Cassini spacecraft (RIP) snapped a final image of Saturn’s bizarre moon, which has a distinctive dark and light side. And the Juno spacecraft snapped a color-enhanced photo of Jupiter’s atmosphere during its eighth flyby. The image was taken just 4700 miles above the planet, providing a fantastic view of the planet’s swirling clouds.
Still haven’t had enough cosmic images? Check out the rest of the collection here.