Do you see a woman's head in profile? Wispy tendrils of hot dust and gas glow brightly in this ultraviolet image of the Cygnus Loop Nebula, taken by NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer. [Full Story]
This picture of the nebula around a rare yellow hypergiant star called IRAS 17163-3907 is the best ever taken of a star in this class and shows for the first time a huge dusty double shell surrounding the central hypergiant. The star and its shells resemble an egg white around a yolky centre, leading astronomers to nickname the object the Fried Egg Nebula. The image was released Sept. 28, 2011.
Red represents low-energy X-rays, the medium range is green, and the most energetic ones are colored blue. The blue hand-like structure was created by energy emanating from the nebula around they dying star PSR B1509-58. The red areas are from a neighboring gas cloud called RCW 89.
This new image from the Wide Field Imager on the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope shows the Running Chicken Nebula, a cloud of gas and newborn stars that lies around 6,500 light-years away from us in the constellation of Centaurus (The Centaur).
This infrared image from NASA's WISE space telescope shows a cosmic rosebud blossoming with new stars, including the Berkeley 59 cluster and a supernova remnant. Read the full story.
A new image taken by NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) shows the Rosette nebula located within the constellation Monoceros (the Unicorn). This flower-shaped nebula is a huge star-forming cloud of dust and gas in our Milky Way galaxy, about 4,500-5,000 light-years away.
Gemini North image of the planetary nebula M97, also known as the Owl Nebula, imaged by the Gemini Multi-Object Spectrograph (GMOS) as part of a Canadian contest for high school students. The approximately 6,000 year-old nebula is located about 2,600 light-years away, and has a diameter of about three light-years across. It is located in the constellation of Ursa Major (which contains the Big Dipper).
The Necklace Nebula is located 15,000 light-years away in the constellation Sagitta (the Arrow). This composite image was taken on July 2, 2011 by the Hubble Space Telescope's Wide Field Camera 3.
This glowing emerald nebula seen by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope is reminiscent of the glowing ring wielded by the superhero Green Lantern.
This view shows part of the very active star-forming region around the Tarantula Nebula in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a small neighbor of the Milky Way. At the exact center lies the brilliant but isolated star VFTS 682 and to its lower right the very rich star cluster R 136.
The Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope produced this stunning image of the well-known Horsehead Nebula. It is part of an enormous cloud of molecular gas and dust obscuring background light from nearby emission nebula IC 434, producing the silhouette.
This Gemini Observatory image of Kronberger 61 shows the ionized shell of expelled gas resembling a soccer ball. The light of the nebula here is primarily due to emission from twice-ionized oxygen, and its central star can be seen as the slightly bluer star very close to the center of the nebula.
NASA’s Wide-field Survey Explorer (WISE) took this image of the Elephant’s Trunk nebula, showing clouds of dust and gas pushed and eroded by a massive star. The bright ‘trunk’ of the nebula near the center is an especially dense cloud holding up against the star’s powerful radiation and stellar wind. Other "elephant trunk" structures exist in other nebulae, but this is the only nebula that uses the term in its moniker.
Take a look at the Hubble Space Telescope's iconic view of the Pillars of Creation in the Eagle Nebula.
The ghost-like nebula, IRAS 05437+2502, includes a small star-forming region filled with dark dust that was first noted in images taken by the IRAS satellite in infrared light in 1983. This recently released image from the Hubble Space Telescope shows many new details, but has not uncovered a clear cause of the bright sharp arc.
Spies Majestic Space Mountains This turbulent cosmic pinnacle lies within a tempestuous stellar nursery called the Carina Nebula, some 7500 light-years away in the southern constellation of Carina. Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3 observed the pillar on 1-2 February 2010.
This portrait of NGC 6334 (the Cat's Paw Nebula) was created from images taken with the Wide Field Imager instrument at the 2.2-metre MPG/ESO telescope at the La Silla Observatory in Chile, combining images taken through blue, green and red filters, as well as a special filter designed to let through the light of glowing hydrogen.
This new atlas features 30 proplyds, or protoplanetary discs, that were recently discovered in the majestic Orion Nebula using the Hubble Space Telescope.
A close-up image of the the so-called “Pillars of Creation” located at the center of the Eagle Nebula.
The Ring Nebula in Lyra lies 2.300 light years from Earth. It is estimated to have been expanding for about 1600 years.
The first released VST image shows the spectacular star-forming region Messier 17, also known as the Omega Nebula or the Swan Nebula, as it has never been seen before. This vast region of gas, dust and hot young stars lies in the heart of the Milky Way in the constellation of Sagittarius (The Archer).
The Cat's Eye Nebula features concentric shells or bubbles of gas and dust.
A Gemini South image of the planetary nebula NGC 246, or "Skull Nebula."
This is a color enhanced version of the infrared signal to make the Double Helix Nebula's features easier to see. The spots are mostly red giants and red supergiants. Many other stars are present, but are too dim to appear.
The Butterfly Nebula exhibits the classic hourglass shape of many planetary nebulas…
This "space jellyfish" is one of several new protoplanetary discs, or proplyds discovered in the Orion Nebula, 181-825 is one of the bright proplyds that lies relatively close to the nebula’s brightest star, Theta 1 Orionis C. Resembling a tiny jellyfish, this proplyd is surrounded by a shock wave that is caused by stellar wind from the massive Theta 1 Orionis C interacting with gas in the nebula. The objects are so far away that even with Hubble's keen eye, they appear blurry.
The Jellyfish Nebula seen swimming in a cosmic sea.