A stunning photograph taken from the ALMA observatory in Chile shows a young star surrounded by a large disk of gas and dust. Like our very own Milky Way, this protoplanetary disk exhibits a spiral structure—a feature that could solve a lingering mystery about how planets start to form.
Astronomers call Messier 63 the Sunflower Galaxy, because they say its spiral shape resembles the spiral of seeds at the center of a sunflower.
The Earth's atmosphere is actually a churning sea of fluid, though it's easy to forget when you're just hanging out, breathing it all in. This satellite shot of a tiny island in the Pacific shows the spiral trails it leaves as an ocean of air swirls by.