Mercury from Passing BepiColombo

APOD: 2022 June 28 - Mercury from Passing BepiColombo Discover the cosmos!Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe isfeatured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. 2022 June 28 Mercury from Passing BepiColombo Image Credit & License: ESA, JAXA, BepiColombo, MTM Explanation: Which part of the Moon is this? No part -- because this is the planet Mercury. Mercury's old surface is heavily cratered like that of Earth's Moon. Mercury, while only slightly larger than Luna, is much denser and more massive than any Solar System moon because it is made mostly of iron. In fact, our Earth is the only planet more dense. Because Mercury rotates exactly three times for every two orbits around the Sun, and because Mercury's orbit is so elliptical, visitors on Mercury could see the Sun rise, stop in the sky, go back toward the rising horizon, stop again, and then set quickly over the other horizon. From Earth, Mercury's proximity to the Sun causes it to be visible only for a short time just after sunset or just before sunrise.The featured image was captured last week by ESA and JAXA's passing BepiColombo spacecraft as it sheds energy and...

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The Gum Nebula over Snowy Mountains

APOD: 2022 June 27 - The Gum Nebula over Snowy Mountains Discover the cosmos!Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe isfeatured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. 2022 June 27 The Gum Nebula over Snowy Mountains Image Credit & Copyright: Wang Jin Explanation: The Gum Nebula is so large and close it is actually hard to see.This interstellar expanse of glowing hydrogen gas frequently evadesnotice because it spans 35 degrees -- over 70 full Moons -- while much of it is quite dim.This featured spectacular 90-degree wide mosaic, however, was designed to be both wide and deep enough to bring up the Gum -- visible in red on the right.The image was acquired late last year with both the foreground -- including Haba Snow Mountain -- and the background -- including the Milky Way's central band -- captured by the same cameraand from the same location in Shangri-La, Yunnan, China.The Gum Nebula is so close that we are only about450 light-years from the front edge, while about 1,500 light-years from the back edge.Named for a cosmic cloud hunter, Australian astronomerColin Stanley Gum(1924-1960), the origin of this complexnebula is still being debated.A leading theory...

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Light Echoes from V838 Mon

APOD: 2022 June 26 - Light Echoes from V838 Mon Discover the cosmos!Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe isfeatured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. 2022 June 26 Light Echoes from V838 Mon Image Credit: NASA,ESA,H. E. Bond (STScI) Explanation: What caused this outburst of V838 Mon? For reasons unknown, star V838 Mon's outer surface suddenly greatly expanded with the result that it became one of the brighter stars in the Milky Way Galaxy in early 2002. Then, just as suddenly, it shrunk and faded. A stellar flash like this had never been seen before -- supernovas and novas expel matter out into space. Although the V838 Mon flash appears to expel material into space, what is seen in the featured image from the Hubble Space Telescope is actually an outwardly expanding light echo of the original flash. In a light echo, light from the flash is reflected by successively more distant surfaces in the complex array of ambient interstellar dust that already surrounded the star. V838 Mon lies about 20,000 light years away toward the constellation of the unicorn (Monoceros), while the light echo above spans about six light years in...

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Planets of the Solar System

APOD: 2022 June 25 - Planets of the Solar System Discover the cosmos!Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe isfeatured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. 2022 June 25 Planets of the Solar System Image Credit &Copyright: Antonio Canaveras,Chiara Tronci,Giovanni Esposito,Giuseppe Conzo,Luciana Guariglia,(Gruppo Astrofili Palidoro) Explanation: Simultaneousimages from four cameras were combined to construct thisatmospheric predawn skyscape.The cooperative astro-panoramacaptures all theplanets of the Solar System,just before sunrise on June 24.That foggy morning found innermost planet Mercury close to the horizonbut just visible against the twilight, below and left of brilliant Venus.Along with the waning crescent Moon, the otherbright naked-eye planets,Mars, Jupiter, and Saturnlie near the ecliptic, arcing up and to the right acrossthe wide field of view.Binoculars would have been required to spot the much fainterplanets Uranus and Neptune, thoughthey also were along the ecliptic in the sky.In the foreground are excavations at an ancient Roman villa nearMarina di San Nicola, Italy,planet Earth. Tomorrow's picture: echo monoceros<| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS| Education| About APOD| Discuss| > Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff(MTU) &Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)NASA Official: Phillip NewmanSpecific rights apply.NASA WebPrivacy Policy and Important NoticesA service of:ASD atNASA /GSFC& Michigan Tech....

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Filaprom on the Western Limb

APOD: 2022 June 24 - Filaprom on the Western Limb Discover the cosmos!Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe isfeatured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. 2022 June 24 Filaprom on the Western Limb Image Credit &Copyright: Martin Wise Explanation: A solar filamentis an enormous stream ofincandescent plasma suspended above theactive surface of the Sunby looping magnetic fields.Seen against the solar disk it looks dark only because it's a littlecooler, and so slightly dimmer, than thesolar photosphere.Suspended above the solar limb the same structure looks brightwhen viewed against the blackness of spaceand is called a solar prominence.A filaprom would be both of course, a stream of magnetized plasmathat crosses in front of the solar disk andextends beyond the Sun's edge.In thishydrogen-alphaclose-up ofthe Sun captured on June 22,active regionAR3038 is near the center of the frame.Active region AR3032 is seen at the far right, close to theSun's western limb.As AR3032 is carried byrotation towardthe Sun's visible edge,what was once a giant filament above it is now partly seen as a prominence,How big isAR3032's filaprom?For scale planet Earth is shown near the top right corner. Tomorrow's picture: light-weekend<| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS|...

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Spiral Galaxy NGC 6744

APOD: 2022 June 23 - Spiral Galaxy NGC 6744 Discover the cosmos!Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe isfeatured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. 2022 June 23 Spiral Galaxy NGC 6744 Image Credit &Copyright: Basudeb Chakrabarti,Telescope Live Explanation: Beautiful spiral galaxy NGC 6744is nearly 175,000 light-years across, larger thanour own Milky Way.It lies some 30 million light-years distant in the southernconstellation Pavo but appears as only a faint, extended object insmall telescopes.We see the disk of the nearby island universe tilted towards ourline of sight in this remarkably detailed galaxy portrait,a telescopic view that spans an area about theangular size of a full moon.In it, the giant galaxy'selongated yellowish coreis dominated by the light from old, cool stars.Beyond the core, grand spiral arms are filled withyoung blue star clusters and speckled with pinkish star forming regions.An extended arm sweeps past smaller satellite galaxy NGC 6744Aat the lower right.NGC 6744's galactic companion is reminiscent of the Milky Way'ssatellite galaxy the Large Magellanic Cloud. Tomorrow's picture: pixels in space<| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS| Education| About APOD| Discuss| > Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff(MTU) &Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)NASA Official: Phillip NewmanSpecific rights apply.NASA...

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Supernova Remnant: The Veil Nebula

APOD: 2022 June 22 - Supernova Remnant: The Veil Nebula Discover the cosmos!Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe isfeatured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. 2022 June 22 Supernova Remnant: The Veil Nebula Image Credit & Copyright: Craig Stocks(Utah Desert Remote Observatories) Explanation: Ten thousand years ago, before the dawn of recorded human history, a new light would have suddenly have appeared in the night sky and faded after a few weeks. Today we know this light was from asupernova,or exploding star,and record the expanding debris cloud as the Veil Nebula, a supernova remnant. Imaged with color filters featuring light emitted bysulfur (red), hydrogen (green), and oxygen (blue), this deep wide-angle view was processed to remove the stars and so better capture the impressive glowing filaments of the Veil. Also known as the Cygnus Loop, the Veil Nebula is roughly circular in shape and covers nearly 3 degrees on the sky toward the constellation of the Swan (Cygnus).Famous nebular sections include the Bat Nebula, the Witch's Broom Nebula, and Fleming's Triangular Wisp. The complete supernova remnant lies about 1,400light-years away. Tomorrow's picture: open space <| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS|...

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Analemma over Taipei

APOD: 2022 June 21 - Analemma over Taipei Discover the cosmos!Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe isfeatured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. 2022 June 21 Analemma over Taipei Image Credit & Copyright: Meiying Lee Explanation: Does the Sun return to the same spot on the sky every day? No. A better and more visual answer to that question is an analemma, a composite of images taken at the same time and from the same place over the course of a year.The featured analemma was compiled at 4:30 pm many afternoons from Taiwan during 2021, with the city skyline of Taipei in the foreground, including tall Taipei 101.The Sun's location in December -- at the December solstice -- is shown on the far left, while its location at the June solstice is captured on the far right.Also shown are the positions of the Sun throughout the rest of the day on the solstices and equinoxes. Today is the June solstice of 2022, the day in Earth's northern hemisphere when the Sun spends the longest time in the sky. In many countries, today marks the official beginning of a new season, for example...

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Rock Fingers on Mars

APOD: 2022 June 20 - Rock Fingers on Mars Discover the cosmos!Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe isfeatured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. 2022 June 20 Rock Fingers on Mars Image Credit: NASA,JPL-Caltech,MSSS Explanation: There, just right of center, what is that?The surface of Mars keeps revealing new surprises with the recent discovery of finger-like rock spires.The small nearly-vertical rock outcrops were imaged last month by the robotic Curiosity rover on Mars.Although similar in size and shape to small snakes, the leading explanation for their origin is as conglomerations of small minerals left by water flowing through rock crevices.After these relatively dense minerals filled the crevices, they were left behind when the surrounding rock eroded away. Famous rock outcrops on Earth with a similar origin are called hoodoos.NASA's Curiosity Rover continues to search for new signs of ancient water in Gale Crater on Mars, while also providing a geologic background important for future human exploration. Explore Your Universe: Random APOD Generator Tomorrow's picture: city suns <| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS| Education| About APOD| Discuss| > Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff(MTU) &Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)NASA Official: Phillip NewmanSpecific rights apply.NASA...

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Game: Super Planet Crash

APOD: 2022 June 19 - Game: Super Planet Crash Discover the cosmos!Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe isfeatured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. 2022 June 19 Game: Super Planet Crash Game Credit & License: Stefano Meschiari(U. Texas at Austin)& the SAVE/Point Team Explanation: Can you create a planetary system that lasts for 1000 years?Super Planet Crash, the featured game, allows you to try. To create up to ten planets, just click anywhere near the central star. Planet types can be selected on the left in order of increasing mass: Earth, Super-Earth, Ice giant, Giant planet, Brown dwarf, orDwarf star.Each planet is gravitationally attracted not only to the central Sun-like star, but to other planets.Points are awarded, with bonus factors applied for increasingly crowded and habitable systems.The game ends after 1000 years or when a planet is gravitationally expelled.Many exoplanetary systems are being discovered in recent years, and Super Planet Crash demonstrates why some remain stable. As you might suspect after playing Super Planet Crash a few times, there is reason to believe that our own Solar System has lost planets during its formation. Tomorrow's picture: mini-spires on mars<| Archive| Submissions |...

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The Gamma Cygni Nebula

APOD: 2022 June 18 - The Gamma Cygni Nebula Discover the cosmos!Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe isfeatured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. 2022 June 18 The Gamma Cygni Nebula Image Credit &Copyright: Min Xie,Chen Wu, Yizhou Zhang, and Benchu Tang Explanation: Supergiant starGamma Cygni is at the center of the Northern Cross.Near the plane of our Milky Way galaxy, that famousasterism flieshigh in northern summer night skies in the constellationCygnus the Swan.Known by the propername Sadr,Gamma Cygni also lies just below center inthis telescopic skyscape,with colors mapped from both broadband and narrowband image data.The field of view spans about 3 degrees(six Full Moons) on the sky and includesemission nebula IC 1318 and open star cluster NGC 6910.Filling the upper part of the frame and shaped like two glowingcosmic wings divided by a long darkdust lane, IC 1318's popular name is understandably theButterfly Nebula.Right of Gamma Cygni, are the young, still tightly groupedstars of NGC 6910.The distanceto Gamma Cygni is around 560 parsecs or 1,800 light-years.Estimates for IC 1318 andNGC 6910range from 2,000 to 5,000 light-years. Tomorrow's picture: don't crash<| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS| Education| About APOD| Discuss|...

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Good Morning Planets from Chile

On June 15, innermost planet Mercury had wandered

Strawberry Supermoon from China

APOD: 2022 June 16 - Strawberry Supermoon from China Discover the cosmos!Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe isfeatured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. 2022 June 16 Strawberry Supermoon from China Image Credit &Copyright: Jeff Dai(TWAN) Explanation: There are four Full Supermoons in 2022.Usingthe definition of a supermoon asa Full Moon near perigee, that iswithin at least 90% of its closest approach to Earth in a given orbit,the year's Full Supermoon dates are May 16, June 14, July 13, and August 12.Full Moonsnear perigee really are the brightestand largest in planet Earth's sky.But size and brightness differences between Full Moonsare relatively small and an actualcomparisonwith other Full Moons is difficult to make by eye alone. Two exposures are blended in this supermoon and sky view from June 14.That Full Moon was also known to northernhemisphere skygazersas the Strawberry moon.The consecutive short and long exposures allow familiar featureson the fully sunlit lunar nearside to be seen in the same image as a faint lunar coronaand an atmospheric cloudscape.They were captured in skies overChongqing, China. Tomorrow's picture: planets in space<| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS| Education| About APOD| Discuss| > Authors &...

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In the Heart of the Virgo Cluster

APOD: 2022 June 15 - In the Heart of the Virgo Cluster Discover the cosmos!Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe isfeatured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. 2022 June 15 In the Heart of the Virgo Cluster Image Credit & Copyright: Saulius Adomaitis Explanation: The Virgo Cluster of Galaxies is the closest cluster of galaxies to our Milky Way Galaxy. The Virgo Cluster is so close that it spans more than 5 degrees on the sky - about 10 times the angle made by a full Moon.With its heart lying about 70 million light years distant, the Virgo Cluster is the nearest cluster of galaxies, contains over 2,000 galaxies, and has a noticeable gravitational pull on the galaxies of the Local Group of Galaxies surrounding our Milky Way Galaxy. The cluster contains not only galaxies filled with stars but also gas so hot it glows in X-rays. Motions of galaxies in and around clusters indicate that they contain more dark matter than any visible matter we can see. Pictured here, the heart of the Virgo Cluster includes bright Messier galaxies such asMarkarian's Eyes on the upper left, M86 just to the upper...

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Satellites Behind Pinnacles

APOD: 2022 June 14 - Satellites Behind Pinnacles Discover the cosmos!Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe isfeatured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. 2022 June 14 Satellites Behind Pinnacles Image Credit & Copyright: Joshua Rozells Explanation: What are all those streaks across the background?Satellite trails.First, the foreground features picturesque rock mounds known as Pinnacles. Found in the Nambung National Park in Western Australia, these human-sized spires are made by unknown processes from ancient sea shells (limestone).Perhaps more eye-catching, though, is the sky behind.Created by low-Earth orbit satellites reflecting sunlight, all of these streaks were captured in less than two hours and digitally combined onto the single featured image, with the foreground taken consecutively by the same camera and from the same location. Most of the streaks were made by the developing Starlink constellation of communication satellites, but some are not.In general, the streaks are indicative of an increasing number of satellites nearly continuously visible above the Earth after dusk and before dawn. Understanding and removing the effects of satellite trails on images from Earth's ground-based cameras and telescopes is now important not only for elegant astrophotography, but for humanity's scientific understanding of...

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M51: The Whirlpool Galaxy from Hubble

APOD: 2022 June 13 - M51: The Whirlpool Galaxy from Hubble Discover the cosmos!Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe isfeatured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. 2022 June 13 M51: The Whirlpool Galaxy from Hubble Image Credit: NASA, ESA, Hubble, HLA;Processing & Copyright: Bernard Miller Explanation: The Whirlpool Galaxy is a classic spiral galaxy.At only 30 millionlight years distant and fully 60 thousand light years across, M51, also known as NGC 5194, is one of the brightest and most picturesque galaxies on the sky. The featured imageis a digital combination of images taken in different colors by the Earth-orbitingHubble Space Telescope, highlighting many sharp features.Anyone with a good pair ofbinoculars, however, can see thisWhirlpool toward the constellation of the Hunting Dogs (Canes Venatici).M51 is aspiral galaxy of type Scand is the dominant member of awhole group of galaxies. Astronomers speculate that M51'sspiral structure is primarily due to its gravitational interaction with thesmaller galaxy on the image left. Tomorrow's picture: pinnacle satellites <| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS| Education| About APOD| Discuss| > Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff(MTU) &Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)NASA Official: Phillip NewmanSpecific rights apply.NASA WebPrivacy Policy and Important NoticesA...

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Find the Man in the Moon

APOD: 2022 June 12 - Find the Man in the Moon Discover the cosmos!Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe isfeatured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. 2022 June 12 Find the Man in the Moon Image Credit & Copyright: Dani Caxete Explanation: Have you ever seen the Man in the Moon?This common question plays on the ability of humans to see pareidolia -- imagining familiar icons where they don't actually exist.The textured surface of Earth's full Moon is home to numerous identifications of iconic objects, not only in modern western culture but in world folklore throughout history.Examples, typically dependent on the Moon's perceived orientation, include the Woman in the Moon and the Rabbit in the Moon.One facial outline commonly identified as the Man in the Moon starts by imagining the two dark circular areas -- lunar maria -- here just above the Moon's center, to be the eyes. Surprisingly, there actually is a man in this Moon image -- a close look will reveal a real person -- with a telescope -- silhouetted against the Moon.This featured well-planned image was taken in 2016 in Cadalso de los Vidrios in Madrid, Spain.Do you...

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The Road and the Milky Way

APOD: 2022 June 11 - The Road and the Milky Way Discover the cosmos!Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe isfeatured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. 2022 June 11 The Road and the Milky Way Image Credit &Copyright: David Cruz Explanation: At night you can follow this road as itpasses through the Dark Sky Alqueva reserve not toofar from Alentejo, Portugal.Or you could stop,look up,and follow the Milky Way through the sky.Both stretch fromhorizon to horizon in this180 degree panoramarecorded on June 3.Our galaxy's name, the Milky Way, doesrefer to its appearance as a milky path in the sky.The word galaxy itself derives from the Greek for milk.From our fair planetthe arc of the Milky Way is most easily visible on moonless nightsfrom dark sky areas, though not quite so bright or colorful as in this image.The glowing celestial band is due to the collective light ofmyriad stars along the galactic plane too faint to bedistinguished individually.The diffuse starlight is cut by dark swathsof the galaxy's obscuring interstellar dust clouds.Standing above the Milky Way arc near the top of thispanoramic nightscape isbright star Vega, with the galaxy'scentral bulgenear the horizon at the...

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Arp 286: Trio in Virgo

APOD: 2022 June 10 - Arp 286: Trio in Virgo Discover the cosmos!Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe isfeatured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. 2022 June 10 Arp 286: Trio in Virgo Image Credit &Copyright: Nicolas Rolland,Telescope.Live Explanation: This colorful telescopic fieldof view features a trio of interacting galaxies almost 90 millionlight-years away, toward theconstellation Virgo.On the right twospiky,foreground Milky Way stars echo the extragalactic hues,a reminder that stars in our own galaxy are like those in distantisland universes.With sweeping spiral arms and obscuring dust lanes,the dominant member of the trio,NGC 5566, is enormous, about 150,000 light-years across.Just above it lies smaller, bluish NGC 5569.Near center a third galaxy, NGC 5560,is apparentlystretched and distorted by its interaction with massive NGC 5566.The trio is also included in Halton Arp's 1966Atlasof Peculiar Galaxies as Arp 286.Of course, suchcosmic interactionsare now appreciated as part of theevolution ofgalaxies. Tomorrow's picture: light-weekend<| Archive| Submissions | Index| Search| Calendar| RSS| Education| About APOD| Discuss| > Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff(MTU) &Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)NASA Official: Phillip NewmanSpecific rights apply.NASA WebPrivacy Policy and Important NoticesA service of:ASD atNASA /GSFC& Michigan Tech. U.

Cosmic Clouds in Cygnus

APOD: 2022 June 9 - Cosmic Clouds in Cygnus Discover the cosmos!Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe isfeatured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. 2022 June 9 Cosmic Clouds in Cygnus Image Credit &Copyright: Wolfgang Zimmermann Explanation: These cosmic clouds of gas and dust driftthrough rich star fields along theplane of our Milky Way Galaxy toward the high flying constellationCygnus.They're too faint to be seen with the unaided eye though, even on aclear, dark night.Image data from acamera and telephoto lensusing narrowband filterswas used to construct this 10 degree wide field of view.The deep mosaic reveals a region that includes star forming dust clouds seen in silhouette against thecharacteristic glow of atomic hydrogen and oxygen gas.NGC 6888 is the standout emission nebula near the top.Blown by winds from a massive Wolf-Rayet star it'sabout 25 light-years across and known as theCrescent Nebula.A faint bluish curl just below center in the frame is also thesignature of a Wolf-Rayet star.Burning fuel at a prodigious rate and near the end of their stellarlives, both stars will ultimately go out with a bang in a spectacularsupernova explosion.Toward the right, a massive, young O type star powers the...

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