Andromeda's Lovely Shimmer, Plus A Lunar MakeoverS

Astrophotographer Tyler Allred took this amazing new image of the Andromeda Galaxy, which just appeared in the Salt Lake Tribune. Today's new space porn also includes Jupiter's shrinking spot, digitally-restored moon pics, and an exoplanet.

Here's an old picture of Jupiter's famous red spot, taken by the Voyager spacecraft. According to scientists at U.C. Berkeley, the spot shrunk about one kilometer a day, between 1996 and 2006. We don't know exactly why it's shrinking - or why it changes colors - but it's a storm, and storms have a natural growth and disintegration rate, say scientists.

Andromeda's Lovely Shimmer, Plus A Lunar MakeoverS

Meanwhile, it turns out the earliest photographed exoplanet was back in 1998 - a new technique stripped out starlight from a 1998 image to reveal a previously unknown planet orbiting the distant star HR8799. Here's a lovely artist's impression, with the actual image as an inset:

Andromeda's Lovely Shimmer, Plus A Lunar MakeoverS

Finally, NASA is digitally restoring and cleaning up images from the lunar probes of 40 years ago, resulting in new images of the moon that include way more detail and depth:

Andromeda's Lovely Shimmer, Plus A Lunar MakeoverS