Hubble Space Telescope's Most Spectacular Images

01 Veil Nebula Supernova Remnant
The Veil Nebula is the expanding remains of a massive star that exploded about 8,000 years ago. The entire nebula is 110 light-years across and about 2,100 light-years away in the constellation Cygnus, the Swan. These wisps of gas are all that remain of what was once a star 20 times more massive than our sun. NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)
02 Cats Eye Nebula
The so-called Cat's Eye Nebula—formally cataloged NGC 6543—looks like the eye of Sauron from the film "The Lord of the Rings”. One of the first planetary nebulae to be discovered, it is also one of the most complex. A planetary nebula forms when Sun-like stars gently eject their outer gaseous layers. NGC 6543 has surprisingly intricate structures, including concentric gas shells, jets of high-speed gas, and shock-induced knots of gas, with a bull's eye pattern of eleven or even more concentric rings, or shells, around the Cat's Eye. NASA, ESA, HEIC, and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)
03 2014 Hubble WFC3:UVIS Image of M16
In 2014, Hubble revisited the famous Pillars of Creation, part of a small region of the Eagle Nebula, a vast star-forming region 6,500 light-years from Earth. The pillars are about five light-years tall and made of cold hydrogen gas laced with dust. Stars are being born deep inside them. NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)
04 Cone Nebula (NGC 2264)- Star-Forming Pillar of Gas and Dust
The Cone Nebula (NGC 2264) is a giant pillar in a turbulent star-forming region 2,500 light years away in the constellation Monoceros. Radiation from hot, young stars has slowly eroded the nebula over millions of years. Ultraviolet light heats the edges of the dark cloud, releasing gas into the relatively empty region of surrounding space. Over time, only the densest regions of the Cone will be left. Inside these regions, stars and planets may form. NASA, H. Ford (JHU), G. Illingworth (UCSC/LO), M.Clampin (STScI), G. Hartig (STScI), the ACS Science Team, and ESA
05 Hubble Sees a Horsehead of a Different Color
The Horsehead Nebula, normally shadowy in optical light, appears transparent and ethereal when seen in infrared. The backlit wisps along the Horsehead's upper ridge are being illuminated by Sigma Orionis, a young five-star system just off the top of the Hubble image. Gas clouds surrounding the Horsehead have already dissipated, but the tip of the jutting pillar contains a slightly higher density of hydrogen and helium, laced with dust. Astronomers estimate that the Horsehead formation has about five million years left before it too disintegrates. The Horsehead Nebula is part of a much larger complex in the constellation Orion. At about 1,500 light years away, this complex is one of the nearest and most easily photographed regions in which massive stars are being formed. NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)
06 Light Echo Illuminates Dust Around Supergiant Star V838 Monocerotis (V838 Mon)
An expanding halo of light is seen around a distant star named V838 Monocerotis (V838 Mon), located about 20,000 light years away from Earth at the outer edge of our Milky Way galaxy. The illumination of interstellar dust comes from the red supergiant star at the middle of the image, which gave off a flashbulb-like pulse of light two years before. Called a light echo, the expanding illumination of a dusty cloud around the star revealed swirls or eddies in the dusty cloud probably caused by turbulence in the dust and gas around the star as they slowly expand away. NASA and The Hubble Heritage Team (AURA/STScI)
07 Sombrero galaxy
Messier 104 (M104) has been nicknamed the Sombrero galaxy because of its resemblance to the broad-rimmed Mexican hat. As seen from Earth, the galaxy is tilted nearly edge-on. The galaxy is 50,000 light years across and is located 28 million light-years from Earth. NASA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)
08 Butterfly Emerges from Stellar Demise in Planetary Nebula NGC 6302
Planetary Nebula NGC 6302 may look like a butterfly, but its wings are actually roiling cauldrons of gas heated to more than 36,000 degrees Fahrenheit tearing across space at more than 600,000 miles an hour. NGC 6302 lies within our Milky Way galaxy, roughly 3,800 light years away in the constellation Scorpius. The "butterfly" stretches for more than two light years. The star's surface temperature is estimated to be about 400,000 degrees Fahrenheit, making it one of the hottest known stars in our galaxy. NASA, ESA, and the Hubble SM4 ERO Team
09 Optical and X-ray Composite Image of SNR 0509-67
This bubble-shaped shroud of gas is 23 light years across and is expanding at more than 11 million miles per hour (5,000 kilometers per second). The glowing pink optical shell shows the ambient gas being shocked by the expanding blast wave from a supernova that occurred about 400 years ago. Supernova remnant 0509-67.5 lies in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), a small galaxy about 170,000 light years from Earth. NASA, ESA, CXC, SAO, the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), and J. Hughes (Rutgers University)
10 A "Rose" Made of Galaxies Highlights Hubble's 21st Anniversary
This celestial rose is a group of interacting galaxies called Arp 273, in the constellation Andromeda and roughly 300 million light years away from Earth. The larger of the spiral galaxies, known as UGC 1810, has a disk that is distorted into a rose-like shape by the gravitational tidal pull of the companion galaxy below it, known as UGC 1813. The image shows a tenuous tidal bridge of material between the two galaxies that are separated by tens of thousands of light years from each other. NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)
11 Hourglass Nebula
The Hourglass Nebula (MyCn18) is a young planetary nebula located about 8,000 light-years away. Hubble revealed features which were completely new and unexpected, such as the pair of intersecting elliptical rings in the central region and intricate etchings on the hourglass walls. These may help astronomers understand how planetary nebulae acquire their complex shapes and symmetries. Raghvendra Sahai and John Trauger (JPL), the WFPC2 science team, and NASA
12 Hubble Captures View of 'Mystic Mountain'
This ‘Mystic Mountain' is a three-light-year-tall pillar of gas and dust lying within a tempestuous stellar nursery called the Carina Nebula, located 7,500 light-years away in the southern constellation Carina. Scorching radiation and fast streams of charged particles from super-hot newborn stars in the nebula are shaping and compressing the pillar, causing new stars to form within it. Nestled inside this dense mountain are fledgling stars. NASA, ESA, and M. Livio and the Hubble 20th Anniversary Team (STScI)