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Wreckage from the Battle of Villers-Bocage
Wreckage from the Battle of Villers-Bocage

The Battle of Villers-Bocage took place in Normandy, France, on 13 June 1944 during World War II. Following the D-Day landings on 6 June, the Germans established defences in front of Caen. The British attacked to attempt to exploit a gap in the German defences west of the city. They reached Villers-Bocage without incident in the morning but were ambushed by Tiger I tanks as they left the town and numerous tanks, anti-tank guns and transport vehicles were destroyed. The Germans then attacked the town but were repulsed. The British withdrew west of Villers-Bocage that evening and repulsed another attack the next day. The British conduct in the battle was controversial because their withdrawal marked the end of the post–D-Day "scramble for ground" and the start of an attritional battle for Caen. Some historians wrote that the British attack was a failure caused by a lack of conviction among some senior commanders; others judged the British force to be insufficiently strong for the task. (Full article...)

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Heart Nebula

The Heart Nebula is an emission nebula, 7500 light years from Earth, located in the Perseus Arm of the Milky Way in the constellation Cassiopeia. It was discovered by William Herschel on 3 November 1787. Spanning almost 2 degrees in the sky, its shape is driven by stellar winds from the hot stars in its core. The nebula displays glowing ionized hydrogen gas and darker dust lanes, and is also made up of ionised oxygen and sulfur gasses, which cause rich blue and orange colours to be seen in narrowband images. This photograph of the Heart Nebula, with the Fish Head Nebula also visible in the top right corner, is a narrowband image captured on a 70mm scope with a capture period of around 44 hours.

Photograph credit: Ram Samudrala

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