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High-resolution desktop wallpaper Out of this Whirl by NASA Images
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Out of this Whirl

March 14th, 2016

The graceful, winding arms of the majestic spiral galaxy M51 (NGC 5194) appear like a grand spiral staircase sweeping through space. They are actually long lanes of stars and gas laced with dust.

This sharpest-ever image of the Whirlpool Galaxy, taken in January 2005 with the Advanced Camera for Surveys aboard NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, illustrates a spiral galaxy's grand design, from its curving spiral arms, where young stars reside, to its yellowish central core, a home of older stars. The galaxy is nicknamed the Whirlpool because of its swirling structure.

The Whirlpool's most striking feature is its two curving arms, a hallmark of so-called grand-design spiral galaxies. Many spiral galaxies possess numerous, loosely shaped arms which make their spiral structure less pronounced. These arms serve an important purpose in spiral galaxies. They are star-formation factories, compressing hydrogen gas and creating clusters of new stars. In the Whirlpool, the assembly line begins with the dark clouds of gas on the inner edge, then moves to bright pink star-forming regions, and ends with the brilliant blue star clusters along the outer edge.

Some astronomers believe that the Whirlpool's arms are so prominent because of the effects of a close encounter with NGC 5195, the small, yellowish galaxy at the outermost tip of one of the Whirlpool's arms. At first glance, the compact galaxy appears to be tugging on the arm. Hubble's clear view, however, shows that NGC 5195 is passing behind the Whirlpool. The small galaxy has been gliding past the Whirlpool for hundreds of millions of years.

As NGC 5195 drifts by, its gravitational muscle pumps up waves within the Whirlpool's pancake-shaped disk. The waves are like ripples in a pond generated when a rock is thrown in the water. When the waves pass through orbiting gas clouds within the disk, they squeeze the gaseous material along each arm's inner edge. The dark dusty material looks like gathering storm clouds. These dense clouds collapse, creating a wake of star birth, as seen in the bright pink star-forming regions. The largest stars eventually sweep away the dusty cocoons with a torrent of radiation, hurricane-like stellar winds, and shock waves from supernova blasts. Bright blue star clusters emerge from the mayhem, illuminating the Whirlpool's arms like city streetlights.

The Whirlpool is one of astronomy's galactic darlings. Located 31 million light-years away in the constellation Canes Venatici (the Hunting Dogs), the Whirlpool's beautiful face-on view and closeness to Earth allow astronomers to study a classic spiral galaxy's structure and star-forming processes.

Object Names: Whirlpool Galaxy, M51, NGC 5194/5

Credit: NASA, ESA, S. Beckwith (STScI), and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

High-resolution desktop wallpaper Sunrise at Jinshanling Great Wall by bingham009
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Sunrise at Jinshanling Great Wall

April 4th, 2016

View of Great Wall at Jinshanling, in the early morning.

Adobe Photoshop CC.

High-resolution desktop wallpaper Höllental by Andi Kulse
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Höllental

April 26th, 2016

This was taken after a hiking tour through the Höllentalklamm.

"Valley of Hell", as it is known in English, leads up the Zugspitze on the German side of the German-Austrian border in the northern Alps.

Adobe Lightroom CC.

Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Tamron SP AF 17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical (IF).

Photo Settings: 17mm, f/9, 1/200 second, ISO 200.

High-resolution desktop wallpaper Neverwinter Nights by deltron
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High-resolution desktop wallpaper Hubble's Sharpest View of the Orion Nebula by NASA Images
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High-resolution desktop wallpaper Koh Phangan Sunset by andrewsparrow
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Koh Phangan Sunset

June 2nd, 2016

Kayaking at sunset is incredible at Haad Yao Beach.

Koh Phangan, Thailand.

April 2016.

Tripod, ND-filter, Adobe Lightroom.

9.780374, 99.965849

Canon EOS 5D Mark III, Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0L USM.

Photo Settings: 17mm, f/8, 1.3 seconds, ISO 100.

High-resolution desktop wallpaper Haad Yao Coral Reef Sunset by andrewsparrow
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Haad Yao Coral Reef Sunset

June 20th, 2016

Haad Yao Beach, Koh Phangan, Thailand. April 2016.

Tripod, ND-filter, Adobe Lightroom.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III, Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0L USM.

Photo Settings: 17mm, f/8, 13 seconds, ISO 100.

Map: 9.7778, 99.9654

High-resolution desktop wallpaper Big Apple at Twilight by Oliver Buettner // Ascalo Photography
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Big Apple at Twilight

June 22nd, 2016

After a day with somehow cloudy and rainy weather, we'd been really lucky to get a great sunset on top of the Empire State Building. We stayed there for three hours, watching the Big Apple first getting darker and darker and later becoming the city of stars. What a great place to be!

Capture One Pro 9.

Canon EOS 5DS R

, Canon EF 24-70mm f2.8L II USM.

Map: 40.7483, -73.9855

High-resolution desktop wallpaper Mirror Lake - Yosemite National Park by cbrooks5678
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Mirror Lake - Yosemite National Park

June 29th, 2016

Taken June 2016 while on Vacation. I was on Vacation. I shot this hand held late afternoon.

Shot in Raw and processed in Adobe Lightroom.

Nikon D7100, Tokina AT-X Pro 11-16mm f/2.8 DX.

Photo Settings: 14mm, f/4, 1/200 second, ISO 100.

High-resolution desktop wallpaper Karacaoren Lake - Burdur / Turkey by TogayAytemiz
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Karacaoren Lake - Burdur / Turkey

July 16th, 2016

This image has been captured Karacaoren Lake - Burdur / Turkey

Lightroom CC to just crop.

Canon EOS 6D, Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM.

Map: 37.3796, 30.8318

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