Space Photos of the Week: Nbd, Just a Galaxy Shooting Out Microwave Lasers

Unless there’s an enormous celestial event, like say a total solar eclipse, it’s pretty easy to go about your day and not give the universe a second thought. But there’s so much more to see beyond Earth’s atmosphere. Just take a look at the fantastic images from space this week.

NASA’s Hubble telescope captured two stunning galaxies, one of which is a water megamaser. The sci-fi name comes from two different phenomena. Megamasers are when a celestial object transmits exceptionally powerful radiation called masers (or microwave lasers), the exact same radiation found in household microwaves. The “water” is the murky substance surrounding the galaxy, which is actually energy pulsing from its active galactic nucleus, most likely caused by a supermassive black hole buried deep inside.

Elsewhere, the Cassini spacecraft continues to send back dazzling imagery on its Grande Finale mission around Saturn. This time, its wide-angle camera made a time-lapse video (presented in the gallery as a gif) of a dive between the planet and its rings. And the Atacama Large Millimeter Array telescope snapped a shot of the Cosmic Eyelash, a starburst galaxy that looks like two thanks to gravitational lensing.

Want more examples of this wondrous universe? Then check out the entire collection.

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