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50 Fabulous Deep-Space Nebula Photos

Cause of Strange Cosmic Shapes Pinned Down

The Butterfly Nebula exhibits the classic hourglass shape of many planetary nebulas…

Intricate Crab Nebula Poses for Hubble Close-Up

NASA/ESA and Jeff Hester (Arizona State University).

The Hubble Space Telescope has caught the most detailed view of the Crab Nebula in one of the largest images ever assembed by the space-based observatory.

The Splendor of Orion: A Star Factory Unveiled

NASA, ESA, M. Robberto (Space Telescope Science Institute/ESA) and the Hubble Space Telescope Orion Treasury Project Team

This new Hubble image of the Orion Nebula shows dense pillars of gas and dust that may be the homes of fledgling stars, and hot, young, massive stars that have emerged from their cocoons and are shaping the nebula with powerful ultraviolet light.

Cosmic 'DNA': Double Helix Spotted in Space

NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA

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.

New Picture Goes Into the Eye of the Helix Nebula

ESO

This color-composite image of the Helix Nebula (NGC 7293) was created from images obtained by the Wide Field Imager (WFI), an astronomical camera attached to the ESO telescope at the La Silla observatory in Chile.

Two-Star Collision Yields Three-Ring Nebula

X-ray: NASA/CXC/PSU/S.Park & D.Burrows.; Optical: NASA/STScI/CfA/P.Challis

Supernova 1987A occurred in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a galaxy only 160,000 light years from Earth. The outburst was visible to the naked eye, and is the brightest known supernova in almost 400 years.

Sun's Baby Twin Spotted

NASA/ESA/STScI, J. Hester/P. Scowen/ASU

Located in the Eagle Nebula, E42 is thought to be a very early embryo of a star much like Earth's Sun.

Near-Perfect Symmetry Revealed in Red Cosmic Square

Peter Tuthill, Palomar and Keck Observatories

An image of the Red Square nebula surrounding the hot star MWC 922. The picture was taken with infrared adaptive optics imaging at Palomar and Keck Observatories.

Veil Nebula Pierced by Hubble's Gaze

NASA/ESA/Hubble Heritage/(STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration/Digitized Sky Survey 2

A wide-field overview image of the Veil Nebula, taken on the ground by the Digitized Sky Survey 2. The three areas imaged with Hubble are marked.

Huge Stars Seen as Source of Glowing Gas

Science

A million-degree plasma cloud in the Orion Nebula. The emission colored in blue shows X-ray emission from a hot plasma cloud in the extended regions of the Orion Nebula, detected by the XMM-Newton satellite. The background image has been recorded by the Spitzer Space Telescope in the infrared, showing emission from cool dust.

New Clues to the Most Amazing Shapes in Space

NASA

The Cat's Eye Nebula features concentric shells or bubbles of gas and dust.

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