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Imaging Diatoms

This photomicromosaic showing a collection of diatoms at a magnification of 200 is composed of approximately 160 individual exposures. Diatoms are aquatic, photosynthetic plants comprising a major group of algae. They’re also one of the simplest forms of phytoplankton. Diatoms are frequently used to monitor environmental conditions and water quality.

M57: The Ring Nebula

Except for the rings of Saturn, the Ring Nebula (M57) is probably the most famous celestial band. Its classic appearance is understood to be due to our own perspective, though. The recent mapping of the expanding nebula’s 3-D structure, based in part on this clear Hubble image, indicates that the nebula is a relatively dense, donut-like ring wrapped around the middle of a football-shaped cloud of glowing gas.