What We Love This Week, Volume CXXXI

Jupiter Closeup Swirling Clouds

Jupiter’s high-altitude photographed from a distance of 1.4 million miles on February 28, 2007. Source: The Atlantic

Before Pluto: The Other Awe-Inspiring New Horizons Photos

Jupiter Moons Shadows

Two of Jupiter’s largest moons, the volcanic Io (left) and the icy Ganymede (right), photographed from a distance of 42.5 million miles on January 17, 2007. Source: The Atlantic

While you’ve definitely seen the new Pluto photos and you probably know that those photos are the fruit of the New Horizons’ nearly ten-year journey, you may not realize all that happened along the way. It zipped past our moon (within nine hours of launch), flew close by a 1.6-mile wide asteroid (that just happened to be in its path), and crossed the orbit of every planet between here and Pluto.

Chief among those planetary confrontations was Jupiter, which New Horizons photographed from late 2006 to mid-2007. And perhaps it’s just that Jupiter is our solar system’s largest planet or that it’s orbited by dozens of moons (one of the largest of which has over 400 volcanoes) or that it’s shrouded in swirling clouds, but these photos might just be the most stunning ones that New Horizons captured. For more under-the-radar images from the New Horizons mission, visit The Atlantic.

Jupiter Moons Io Europa

A 190-mile high volcanic plume erupts from Io (right, with two smaller volcanic plumes also visible), alongside Europa (left), another of Jupiter’s largest moons, both photographed from a distance of about 2.5 million miles on March 2, 2007. Source: The Atlantic

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What We Love This Week, Volume CXXX

Green Aurora River Rocks

Photo by Jan R. Olsen, Source: The Roosevelts

Shooting Stars: The Year’s Best Astronomy Photography

Lightning Ocean Stars Night

Photo by Julie Fletcher, Source: The Roosevelts

Astrophotographer is one of the world’s cooler job titles and also exactly the type of person honored by the Royal Observatory of England’s Astronomy Photography of the Year competition. Now in its seventh year, the competition has gathered more entries than ever, from over 60 countries around the world. Each entry offers an awe-inspiring vision of the mighty cosmos as glimpsed from our humble position here on Earth. While the winners won’t be announced until September 17, you can view the shortlist–and probably seriously contemplate your place in the universe–at The Roosevelts.

Rainbow Aurora People Watching

Photo by Kris Williams, Source: The Roosevelts

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9 X-Files Episodes That Were Based On Real Events

Scully And Mulder

Source: Wired

Now that The X-Files revival has been confirmed (we’re getting six new episodes in January of 2016, which even made David Duchovny weep with joy), many have begun their requisite binge-watching of all nine seasons. What viewers might not have realized the first time around is that many episodes of the hit sci-fi drama were based on real government conspiracies, cover-ups and paranormal events. Sometimes life is stranger than fiction.

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