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Astronaut Reid Wiseman captured this image from the International Space Station and posted it on Sept. 28, 2014, writing: "The Milky Way steals the show from Sahara sands that make the Earth glow orange," according to NASA's website. Reid Wiseman/NASA hide caption

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Reid Wiseman/NASA

Spiral galaxy NGC 6814, whose luminous nucleus and spectacular sweeping arms, rippled with an intricate pattern of dark dust, are captured by the Hubble Space Telescope. ESA/Hubble & NASA hide caption

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ESA/Hubble & NASA

A stellar nursery consisting of a group of thick clouds of dust, known as the Thackeray globules, silhouetted against the pale pink glowing gas of the nebula, as captured by the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope. ESO hide caption

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ESO

A visualization of the polarization of the Cosmic Microwave Background, or CMB, as detected by ESA's Planck satellite over the entire sky. ESA and the Planck Collaboration hide caption

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ESA and the Planck Collaboration

An image of the large spiral galaxy NGC 1232, located about 100 million light-years away in the constellation Eridanus (The River). The central areas contain older stars of reddish color, while the spiral arms are populated by young, blue stars and many star-forming regions. ESO hide caption

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ESO

Some physicists are pushing back against ideas like string theory and the multiverse. Here, we see a computer-generated image of a black hole, which might, ultimately, be explained by ideas like string theory. Alain Riazuelo/IAP/UPMC/CNRS hide caption

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Alain Riazuelo/IAP/UPMC/CNRS

2011: In the early 21st century, attempts to visualize such complex ephemeral phenomena as ocean currents, wind direction, and speed grew increasingly sophisticated, as the volume of real-time data increased and supercomputers proved capable of processing it. This ocean surface current visualization was produced by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. Greg Shirah, Horace Mitchell, Hong Zhang and Dimitris Menemenlis/Courtesy of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio hide caption

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Greg Shirah, Horace Mitchell, Hong Zhang and Dimitris Menemenlis/Courtesy of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio