This NASA Hubble Space Telescope image of Comet ISON was taken on April 10, 2013, when the comet was slightly closer than Jupiter's orbit at a distance of 386 million miles from the sun (394 million miles from Earth).
This new Hubble image, captured and released to celebrate the telescope’s 23rd year in orbit, shows part of the sky in the constellation of Orion (The Hunter). Rising like a giant seahorse from turbulent waves of dust and gas is the Horsehead Nebula, otherwise known as Barnard 33. Image released April 19, 2013.
Nearly 200 000 light-years from Earth, the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way, floats in space, in a long and slow dance around our galaxy. As the Milky Way’s gravity gently tugs on its neighbour’s gas clouds, they collapse to form new stars. In turn, these light up the gas clouds in a kaleidoscope of colours, visible in this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.
Called the eXtreme Deep Field, or XDF, the photo was assembled by combining 10 years of NASA Hubble Space Telescope photographs taken of a patch of sky at the center of the original Hubble Ultra Deep Field. The XDF is a small fraction of the angular diameter of the full moon. Image released September 25, 2012.
This image compares the angular size of the XDF field to the angular size of the full moon. The XDF is a very small fraction of sky area, but it provides a "core sample" of the heavens by penetrating deep into space over a sightline of over 13 billion light-years. Several thousand galaxies are contained within this small field of view. At an angular diameter of one-half degree, the moon spans an area of sky only one-half the width of a finger held at arm's length. Image released Sept. 25, 2012.
This illustration separates the Hubble Extreme Deep Field survey into three planes showing foreground, background, and very far background galaxies. These divisions reflect different epochs in the evolving universe. Image released Sept. 25, 2012.
Hubble eXtreme Deep Field (XDF) image with compass and scale for reference. Image released Sept. 25, 2012.
Two very different galaxies feature in this image taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, forming a peculiar galaxy pair called Arp 116. [Full Story]
Josh Lake (USA) submitted a stunning image of NGC 1763, part of the N11 star-forming region in the Large Magellanic Cloud. ESA/Hubble had previously published an image of an area just adjacent to this (heic1011), based on observations by the same team. Josh took a different approach, producing a bold two-colour image which contrasts the light from glowing hydrogen and nitrogen. The image is not in natural colours — hydrogen and nitrogen produce almost indistinguishable shades of red light that our eyes would struggle to tell apart — but Josh’s processing separates them out into blue and red, dramatically highlighting the structure of the region. As well as narrowly topping the jury’s vote, Josh Lake also won the public vote. [See Hubble Telescope's Hidden Photo Treasures: 2012 Winners Gallery.]
This image shows the top ten images entered into the Hubble's Hidden Treasures basic competition: Top row: NGC 6300 by Brian Campbell, V* PV Cephei by Alexey Romashin, IRAS 14568-6304 by Luca Limatola, NGC 1579 by Kathlyn Smith, B 1608+656 by Adam Kill. Bottom row: NGC 4490 by Kathy van Pelt, NGC 6153 by Ralf Schoofs, NGC 6153 by Matej Novak, NGC 7814 by Gavrila Alexandru, NGC 7026 by Linda Morgan-O’Connor. [Complete Hubble Hidden Treasures Gallery]
This image shows the top ten images entered into the Hubble's Hidden Treasures image processing competition: Top row: NGC 1763 by Josh Lake, M 77 by Andre van der Hoeven, XZ Tauri by Judy Schmidt, Chamaeleon I by Renaud Houdinet, M 96 by Robert Gendler.Bottom row: SNR 0519-69 by Claude Cornen, PK 111-2.1 by Josh Barrington, NGC 1501 by kyokugaisha1, Abell 68 by Nick Rose, IC 10 by Nikolaus Sulzenauer. [Complete Hubble Hidden Treasures Gallery]
The natural-color image of the galaxies was taken with NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and with the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope in Hawaii.
This Hubble Space Telescope photo, released Feb. 2, 2012, shows a distant galaxy 10 billion light-years away (shown as) as it appears through the gravitational lens around the galaxy cluster RCS2 032727-132623 about 5 billion light-years away. The background galaxy appears 20 times larger and over three times brighter than typically lensed galaxies, NASA says.
When this image, taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, appeared on the Astronomy Picture of the Day website, two Louisianna researchers realized it was exactly the information they needed to solve the mystery of the source of a special kind of supernova. The even distribution of gas and debris made it fairly easy to pinpoint the center and search for a companion star.
Three images from the Hubble Space Telescope reveal the birth of a Type 1a supernova, a “standard candle” for measuring the expansion of the universe. Nicknamed SN Primo, this supernova is the most distant of its type ever discovered.
Hubble pinpoints farthest protocluster of galaxies ever seen.
This image from the Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes shows one of the most distant galaxies known, called GN-108036, dating back to 750 million years after the Big Bang that created our universe. The galaxy's light took 12.9 billion years to reach us. The galaxy's discovery was announced on Dec. 21, 2011.
The bipolar star-forming region, called Sharpless 2-106, or S106 for short, looks like a soaring, celestial snow angel. Image released December 15, 2011.
A new NASA Hubble Space Telescope image shows globular cluster NGC 1846, a spherical collection of hundreds of thousands of stars in the outer halo of the Large Magellanic Cloud, a neighboring dwarf galaxy of the Milky Way that can be seen from the southern hemisphere.
Galaxy cluster MACS J1206.2-0847 (AKA MACS 1206) lies 4.5 billion light-years from Earth.
This image of the star HR 8799 was taken by Hubble's Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer (NICMOS) in 1998. A mask within the camera (coronagraph) blocks most of the light from the star. Scattered light from HR 8799 dominates the image, obscuring the faint planets.
This image of galaxy Markarian 509 was taken in April 2007 with Hubble's Wide Field Planetary Camera 2.
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.
Today, Neptune has arrived at the same location in space where it was discovered nearly 165 years ago. To commemorate the event, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has taken "anniversary pictures" of the blue-green giant planet.
Composite image of the galaxy cluster Abell 2744, also known as Pandora's Cluster, taken by the Hubble and Chandra space telescopes and the Very Large Telescope in Chile. Hot intracluster gas is shown in pink, and the blue overlay maps the location of dark matter.
This new image, taken by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, reveals never-before-seen details of the galaxy Centaurus A. The image is a composite, showing features in the visible, ultraviolet and near-infrared spectrum.
The debris of Supernova 1987A is beginning to impact the surrounding ring, creating powerful shock waves that generate X-rays observed with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. Those X-rays are illuminating the supernova debris and shock heating is making it glow in visible light.
The core of globular cluster 47 Tucanae is home to many blue stragglers, rejuvenated stars that glow with the blue light of young stars. A ground-based telescope image (on the left) shows the entire crowded core of 47 Tucanae, located 15,000 light-years away in the constellation Tucana. Peering into the heart of the globular cluster's bright core, the Hubble Space Telescope's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 separated the dense clump of stars into many individual stars (image on right).
Astronomers with the Space Telescope Science Institute's Hubble Heritage Project partnered with the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO) to study the Cepheid variable star V1. AAVSO observers followed V1 for six months, producing a plot of the rhythmic rise and fall of the star's light.
Galaxy NGC 4214 is dominated by a huge glowing cloud of hydrogen gas in which new stars are being born. A heart-shaped hollow — possibly galaxy NGC 4214’s most eye-catching feature — can be seen at the centre of this.
The Hubble Space Telescope imaged (596) Scheila on Dec. 27, 2010, when the asteroid was about 218 million miles away. Scheila is overexposed in this image to reveal the faint dust features. Because Hubble tracked the asteroid during the exposure, the star images are trailed.
To celebrate the 21st anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers pointed Hubble's eye at an especially photogenic pair of interacting galaxies called Arp 273.
Blue young stars shine in the spiral arms of galaxy NGC 5584, as shown by this Hubble Space Telescope image. Thin, dark dust lanes flow from the yellowish core, filled with older stars. The reddish dots throughout the image are largely background galaxies. Several exposures taken in visible light between January and April 2010 with Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3 combine to make this image.
The galaxy NGC 2841 — shown here in a Hubble image — currently has a relatively low star formation rate compared to other spirals. It is one of several nearby galaxies that have been chosen for a new study, in which scientists are observing a variety of different stellar nursery environments and birth rates.
Using the galaxy cluster Abell 383 (center) as a "gravitational lens," astronomers identified a galaxy so far away we see it as it was 950 million years after the Big Bang. It is visible as two tiny dots on either side of Abell 383. Distant objects seen through gravitational lenses are typically multiply imaged and heavily distorted.
The Whirlpool Galaxy, AKA spiral galaxy M51, sports a new look when seen in near-infrared light by the Hubble Space Telescope. With most of the starlight removed, this image provides the sharpest view of the dust structure of the galaxy to date.
In this image by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, an unusual, ghostly green blob of gas appears to float near a normal-looking spiral galaxy. The bizarre object, dubbed Hanny's Voorwerp (Hanny's Object in Dutch), is the only visible part of a 300,000-light-year-long streamer of gas stretching around the galaxy, called IC 2497.
Andre van der Hoeven (Netherlands) came a close second in the jury vote. His image of the spiral galaxy Messier 77 is highly attractive, and is also an impressive piece of image processing, combining a number of datasets from separate instruments into one amazing picture. Andre entered several other noteworthy images into the competition, including a huge image of Messier 106, combining data from Hubble and other telescopes. His image of NGC 6537, a star-forming region, greatly impressed the jury too. [See Hubble Telescope's Hidden Photo Treasures: 2012 Winners Gallery.]
Robert Gendler (USA) is a well known figure in the amateur image processing world. His version of Hubble’s image of NGC 3190 is the default desktop image on new Apple computers. Robert submitted a number of excellent images into the competition. This image of Messier 96 was the jury’s favourite. [See Hubble Telescope's Hidden Photo Treasures: 2012 Winners Gallery.]
Claude Cornen produced this image of supernova remnant SNR 0519-69. [See Hubble Telescope's Hidden Photo Treasures: 2012 Winners Gallery.]
This photo of the star-forming region NGC 1763 was created with data from the Hubble Space Telescope archive by Josh Lake. Lake won first prize in the image processing category in the 2012 contest to unearth Hubble's hidden treasures. [Complete Hubble Hidden Treasures Gallery]
A contestant known only as "kyokugaisha1" on Flickr produced this image of planetary nebula NGC 1501. [See Hubble Telescope's Hidden Photo Treasures: 2012 Winners Gallery.]
Nick Rose produced this image of lensing cluster Abell 68. [See Hubble Telescope's Hidden Photo Treasures: 2012 Winners Gallery.]
Nikolaus Sulzenauer produced this image of dwarf galaxy IC 10. [See Hubble Telescope's Hidden Photo Treasures: 2012 Winners Gallery.]
Linda Morgan-O'Connor located this Hubble image of planetary nebula NGC 7026. [See Hubble Telescope's Hidden Photo Treasures: 2012 Winners Gallery.]
Supernova remnant SNR1987A is located 166 000 light-years away in the Large Magellanic Cloud.
This dazzling image shows the globular cluster Messier 69, or M 69 for short, as viewed through the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. Image released Oct. 1, 2012.
The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has provided us with another outstanding image of a nearby galaxy.
The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has produced a sharp image of NGC 4634, a spiral galaxy seen exactly side-on. Photo released September 17, 2012.
This shot from the Hubble Space Telescope shows an edge-on view of the star-forming galaxy NGC 7090, which is located about 30 million light-years from Earth.
A Bok globule nicknamed the "caterpillar" appears at the right.
A brilliant white core is encircled by thick dust lanes in this spiral galaxy, seen edge-on.
The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has taken this close-up of the outskirts of the main cloud of the Nebula.
Dark clouds of dust, called globules, are silhouetted against nearby, bright stars. Little is known about the globules, except that they are generally associated with areas of star formation.
A colorful collection of 100,000 stars are displayed in this small region inside the Omega Centauri globular cluster, a dense group of nearly 10 million stars.
This image shows a detailed view of the spiral arms on one side of the galaxy Messier 99. Messier 99 is a so-called grand design spiral, with long, large and clearly defined spiral arms — giving it a structure somewhat similar to the Milky Way. Image released June 4, 2012.
Herbig-Haro 110 is a geyser of hot gas from a newborn star that splashes up against and ricochets off the dense core of a cloud of molecular hydrogen. This image is a composite of data taken in 2004, 2005 and 2011, and was released July 3, 2012.
This image combines Hubble observations of the nearby spiral galaxy Messier 106 with additional data captured by amateur astronomers Robert Gendler and Jay GaBany. The galaxy lies about 20 million light-years away, and harbors a giant central black hole.
This Hubble image shows a a mysterious protostar, LRLL 54361, that behaves like a flashing light. The image was released Feb. 7, 2013.
This infrared image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows an image of protostellar object LRLL 54361. The image was released Feb. 7, 2013.
This sequence of images from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows a pulse of light emanating from the protostellar object LRLL 54361. The image was released Feb. 7, 2013.
On the left, an infrared image from the NASA Spitzer Space Telescope shows LRLL 54361 inside the star-forming region IC 348 located 950 light-years away. The center resolves the detailed structure around the protostar, consisting of two cavities that are traced by light scattered off their edges above and below a dusty disk. The right image shows an artist’s impression represents scientists’ theory for how and why the protostar gives off these regular flashes of light.
This large “flying V” is actually two distinct objects — a pair of interacting galaxies known as IC 2184. Both the galaxies are seen almost edge-on in the large, faint northern constellation of Camelopardalis (The Giraffe). Image released Feb. 13, 2013.
This image shows an object known as HH 151, a bright jet of glowing material trailed by an intricate, orange-hued plume of gas and dust. It is located some 460 light-years away in the constellation of Taurus (The Bull), near to the young, tumultuous star HL Tau.
This image is a composite of hydrogen-light observations taken with Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys in February 2006 and Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 observations in blue, yellow-green, and near-infrared light taken in April 2008. The supernova remnant, visible only in the hydrogen-light filter was assigned a red hue in this colour image.
IC 1805, the Heart nebula, as seen by The Hubble Space Telescope. Image released Feb. 6, 2013.
NGC 411 is classified as an open cluster. Less tightly bound than a globular cluster, the stars in open clusters tend to drift apart over time as they age, whereas globulars have survived for well over 10 billion years of galactic history. Image released Jan 21, 2013.
This image shows the spectacular stellar outburst of V838 Monocerotis in 2002. Scientists now suspect the outburst was caused by a so-called "common-envelope event," an outburst from two stars sharing a gas shell. Image released Jan. 24, 2013.
NGC 5477 is a dwarf galaxy in the Messier 101 group. Image released Jan. 7, 2013.
A planetary nebula called NGC 5189 glows in space, showing two nested lobes of ejected material. Image released Dec. 20, 2012.
A bright star-forming ring surrounds the heart of the barred spiral galaxy NGC 1097.
A supermassive black hole powers jets of cosmic rays on either side the elliptical radio galaxy Hercules A.
The brilliant cascade of stars through the middle of this image is the galaxy ESO 318-13 as seen by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.
The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has spotted the spiral galaxy ESO 499-G37, seen here against a backdrop of distant galaxies, scattered with nearby stars.
The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has captured a beautiful galaxy that, with its reddish and yellow central area, looks rather like an explosion from a Hollywood movie. The galaxy, called NGC 5010, is in a period of transition. Image released November 5, 2012.
Australian National University astrophysicist Brian Schmidt chose this Hubble photo of Supernova SN 1994D as his favorite space image, which he called "the poster child of a type Ia supernovae." The supernova is the bright spot on the lower left, shown near the galaxy galaxy NGC 4526. Schmidt won the 2011 Nobel Physics prize for his studies of distant supernovas that helped reveal the existence of dark energy.
This image from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope shows the faint irregular galaxy NGC 3738, which is in the midst of a violent episode of star formation, as evidenced by the red glow of hydrogen gas surrounding the galaxy.
This seminal 1995 image was taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. Called the Hubble Deep Field, it collected light over many hours to reveal the deepest view of the universe yet, which included thousands of distant galaxies.
A new image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows NGC 5806, a spiral galaxy in the constellation Virgo (the Virgin). It lies around 80 million light years from Earth. Also visible in this image is a supernova explosion called SN 2004dg. Image released August 27, 2012.