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Panoramic view of the city of Alicante from the Santa Bárbara Castle, Spain. The city has a population of aprox. 330.000 and is a popular touristic destination as it's located on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The castle, located on 166 metres (545 ft)-high Mount Benacantil, dates from the 9th century.

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Funfair Send in Münster, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Wikipedia: MünsterNorth Rhine-Westphalia

A Han teacher calls out the correct answer in Chinese at a Uyghur high school in Azak, Xinjiang, China. Recent media investigations show that the Chinese government have targeted Uyghurs—a Muslim minority people group—for mass detentions and even forced birth control.

Do any shapes seem to jump out at you from this interstellar field of stars and dust? The jeweled expanse, filled with faint, starlight-reflecting clouds, drifts through the night in the royal constellation of Cepheus. Far from your own neighborhood on planet Earth, these ghostly apparitions lurk along the plane of the Milky Way at the edge of the Cepheus Flare molecular cloud complex some 1,200 light-years away. Over two light-years across and brighter than the other spooky chimeras, VdB 141 or Sh2-136 is also known as the Ghost Nebula, seen at toward the bottom of the featured image. Within the reflection nebula are the telltale signs of dense cores collapsing in the early stages of star formation.

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Rosa 'Rosengräfin Marie Henriette'. Flower.

Photographer Jonathan Blair, his wife Arlene, and a guest are silhouetted by gas lamps as they pose in the openings of a cave home in Cappadocia, Turkey. The couple lived in the cave for a month, following in the footsteps of habitants who have settled here for centuries.

Is our universe haunted? It might look that way on this dark matter map. The gravity of unseen dark matter is the leading explanation for why galaxies rotate so fast, why galaxies orbit clusters so fast, why gravitational lenses so strongly deflect light, and why visible matter is distributed as it is both in the local universe and on the cosmic microwave background. The featured image from the American Museum of Natural History's Hayden Planetarium previous Space Show Dark Universe highlights one example of how pervasive dark matter might haunt our universe. In this frame from a detailed computer simulation, complex filaments of dark matter, shown in black, are strewn about the universe like spider webs, while the relatively rare clumps of familiar baryonic matter are colored orange. These simulations are good statistical matches to astronomical observations. In what is perhaps a scarier turn of events, dark matter -- although quite strange and in an unknown form -- is no longer thought to be the strangest source of gravity in the universe. That honor now falls to dark energy, a more uniform source of repulsive gravity that seems to now dominate the expansion of the entire universe.

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View of the Red Mosque in Schwetzingen Palace gardens, Germany, built in 1779–1796. It was never actually a working mosque; instead it was aimed to show Europe’s newfound Enlightenment tolerance to other religious traditions.

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The Eldridge Street Synagogue, a National Historic Landmark in the Chinatown neighborhood of New York City, USA. It opened in 1887, one of the first American synagogues established by Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe, and underwent a 20-year restoration which finished in 2007.

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Strawberry top shell (Clanculus pharaonius), a sea snail found in the shallow subtidal zone throughout the tropics of the Indo-Pacific region.

On October 20, after a careful approach to the boulder-strewn surface, the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft's arm reached out and touched asteroid Bennu. Dubbed a Touch-And-Go (TAG) sampling event, the 30 centimeter wide sampling head (TAGSAM) appears to crush some of the rocks in this snapshot. The close-up scene was recorded by the spacecraft's SamCam some 321 million kilometers from planet Earth, just after surface contact. One second later, the spacecraft fired nitrogen gas from a bottle intended to blow a substantial amount of Bennu's regolith into the sampling head, collecting the loose surface material. Data show the spacecraft spent approximately 5 more seconds in contact with Bennu's Nightingale sample site and then performed its back-away burn. Timelapse frames from SamCam reveal the aftermath.

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Safari Endeavour vessel exploring the Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska, United States.

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Main building of the University of Wrocław, which was established on this day in 1702. View from the River Oder.


The total phase of the June 15, 2011 lunar eclipse lasted an impressive 100 minutes. Its entire duration is covered in this composite of a regular sequence of digital camera exposures, tracking the dark lunar disk as it arced above the Acropolis in Athens, Greece.

When Mexico lost in the quarterfinals of the 1970 World Cup—hosted in Mexico City—Mexican soccer fans turned their allegiances to Brazil. Revelers took the streets after Brazil bested Italy for the championship.
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Game reserve in Dülmen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Alfred von Croÿ commissioned the english landscape architect Edward Milner with the gardening in the 1860s. The work was carried out by the gardener Charles Barnard.
Wikipedia: DülmenEdward Milner

Massive beams of selenite dwarf explorers in Mexico's Cave of Crystals, deep below the Chihuahuan Desert. Formed over millennia, these crystals are among the largest yet discovered on Earth.

What's happening to this spiral galaxy? Although details remain uncertain, it surely has to do with an ongoing battle with its smaller galactic neighbor. The featured galaxy is labelled UGC 1810 by itself, but together with its collisional partner is known as Arp 273. The overall shape of UGC 1810 -- in particular its blue outer ring -- is likely a result of wild and violent gravitational interactions. This ring's blue color is caused by massive stars that are blue hot and have formed only in the past few million years. The inner galaxy appears older, redder, and threaded with cool filamentary dust. A few bright stars appear well in the foreground, unrelated to UGC 1810, while several galaxies are visible well in the background. Arp 273 lies about 300 million light years away toward the constellation of Andromeda. Quite likely, UGC 1810 will devour its galactic sidekick over the next billion years and settle into a classic spiral form.

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Lauenstein Castle in Upper Franconia is a medieval hilltop castle where English pounds were counterfeited by prisoners during the Second World War to destabilize the currency of the war opponents. From March to June 1944, Admiral Wilhelm Canaris was under house arrest in the castle.

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The cruise ship AIDAperla at Wilhelminapier in Rotterdam with the high-rises De Rotterdam and World Port Center.

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Hermitage of St Bartholomew, Canyon of the Lobos River Natural Park, province of Soria, Castile and León, Spain. The hermitage was built in the beginning of the 13th century, and shows the transition from Romanesque to Gothic styles. The temple is located in a remote and quiet location inside the Lobos River Canyon, a National Park.