COSMIC CLOSE-UPS

STUNNING NEW PHOTOS FROM THE HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE PUT THE MYSTERIES OF THE UNIVERSE INTO SHARP FOCUS

THEY LOOK REMARKABLY LIKE GREAT TOWERING thunderheads, billowing high into the evening sky as they catch the last rays of the setting sun. They are so sharp, so startlingly three dimensional, that the mind wants to domesticate them, to bring them down to earth, to imagine them rising on the horizon or just beyond the wings of an airliner. These are no ordinary clouds, however. They stand not 30,000 ft. but almost 6 trillion miles high. They are illuminated not with ordinary earthly light but with searing ultraviolet radiation spewing from nuclear fires at the center of a handful of newly...

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