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Voyager 1 spacecraft entering interstellar space Featured Print

Voyager 1 spacecraft entering interstellar space

This artist's concept depicts NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft entering interstellar space, or the space between stars. Interstellar space is dominated by the plasma, or ionized gas, that was ejected by the death of nearby giant stars millions of years ago. The environment inside our solar bubble is dominated by the plasma exhausted by our sun, known as the solar wind. The interstellar plasma is shown with an orange glow.

© Stocktrek Images

The massive galaxy cluster MACS J0717 Featured Print

The massive galaxy cluster MACS J0717

This composite image shows the massive galaxy cluster MACS J0717.5+3745 (MACS J0717, for short), where four separate galaxy clusters have been involved in a collision, the first time such a phenomenon has been documented. Hot gas is shown in an image from the Chandra X-ray Observatory, and galaxies are shown in an optical image from the Hubble Space Telescope. The hot gas is color-coded to show temperature, where the coolest gas is reddish purple, the hottest gas is blue, and the temperatures in between are purple. MACS J0717 is located about 5.4 billion light-years from Earth. It is one of the most complex galaxy clusters ever seen.
The repeated collisions in MACS J0717 are caused by a 13-million-light-year-long stream of galaxies, gas, and dark matter, known as a filament, pouring into a region already full of matter. A collision between the gas in two or more clusters causes the hot gas to slow down. However, the massive and compact galaxies do not slow down as much as the gas does, and so move ahead of it. Therefore, the speed and direction of each cluster's motion, perpendicular to the line of sight, can be estimated by studying the offset between the average position of the galaxies and the peak in the hot gas.

© Stocktrek Images

Space shuttle Atlantis' twin solid rocket boosters ignite to propel the spacecraft Featured Print

Space shuttle Atlantis' twin solid rocket boosters ignite to propel the spacecraft

Cape Canaveral, Florida, May 14, 2010 - Space shuttle Atlantis' twin solid rocket boosters ignite to propel the spacecraft off Kennedy Space Center's Launch Pad 39A and into orbit. Atlantis' primary payload for the STS-132 mission is the Russian-built Mini Research Module-1, which will provide additional storage space and a new docking port for Russian Soyuz and Progress spacecraft aboard the International Space Station.

© Stocktrek Images