This page contains some of the most beautiful and unusual photographs of the universe by the Hubble Space Telescope. The dates refer to the month in which Hubble released these images. Enjoy!
July 2003: This supernova remnant is debris from a stellar explosion in the Large Magellanic Cloud.
May 2003: The Helix Nebula is a glowing gas cloud around a dying Sun-like star. It is 650 light years away. This view combines photos from the Hubble Space Telescope and Kitt Peak National Observatory in Arizona.
May 2003: Neptune’s change of seasons can be seen in the brightening of the clouds.
April 2003: The Egg Nebula shows dust layers around an aging star. The dust belt in the center blocks light form the central star.
April 2003: This is a comparison between two photographs taken by Hubble in 1995 and 2002. A supernova can clearly be seen in the later photograph, as pointed out by the arrow.
April 2003: The Omega Nebula is a center of star formation. It is 5500 light years away, and contains vast amounts of hydrogen, oxygen, and sulfur.
March 2003: This star suddenly became 600,000 times more luminous than the Sun, and was temporarily the brightest star in the galaxy. The shell of dust around an aging star, called V838, has since faded.
January 2003: This photo shows a natural zoom lens used to image faraway galaxies. Hubble focused on a cluster 2.2 billion light years away that contains trillions of stars, and light was bent around this huge mass, creating a lens which magnified the light of the galaxies far behind the cluster.
December 2002: Seyfert’s Sextet appears to be a group of six interacting galaxies. In fact, two objects are in the foreground, and four of the galaxies are interacting. The gravitational forces are tearing the galaxies apart and distorting their shapes.
November 2002: The Little Ghost Nebula has a ghostly cloud of gas and dust surrounding the central dying star.
September 2002: This galaxy, called Hoag’s Object, has a yellow nucleus of old stars, and an outer blue ring of young stars. It is 120,000 light years wide, slightly larger than the Milky Way.
June 2002: The Retina Nebula, like many planetary nebulae, appears very symmetric.
April 2002: These photographs show the oldest stars in the Milky Way Galaxy. They are dim and ancient white dwarfs that are between 12-13 billion years old.
February 2002: This spiral galaxy spins clockwise, which is quite unusual.
July 2001: This is the best photograph taken of Mars. It shows a seasonal dust storm and clouds made of water ice over the poles.
June 2001: This photograph was compiled over several years, from 1996-2000. The changes in the ring orientation of Saturn relative to Earth can be easily seen.
July 2000: A black hole lies at the center of the galaxy M87. In this photograph is a jet of electrons and other particles powered by the black hole to almost the speed of light. This black hole has already consumed matter equal to about 2 billion of our suns. It lies 50 million light years from Earth.
January 2000: The Eskimo Nebula is comprised of a ring of comet-shaped objects facing away from the dying central star. This nebula began forming about 10,000 years ago, and is about 5000 light years away from Earth. In this photograph, red represents nitrogen, green is hydrogen, blue is oxygen, and violet is helium.
August 1999: Hubble photographed the changes in the Great Red Spot on Jupiter. This storm is twice the size of the Earth, and winds travel at about 270 miles per hour. It has been around for more than 300 years.
January 1999: This photograph of the Ring Nebula is one of Hubble’s most famous pictures.
June 1997: With Jupiter in the background, Hubble captured this image of its moon Io, with a 250 mile high plume of gas and dust from a volcanic eruption. The plume is moving outward from the moon’s surface at about 2000 miles per hour.
REFERENCES FOR THIS PAGE:
Hubble Space Telescope Gallery. http://hubble.stsci.edu